Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Lockout

Many avid sports fans have been toughing it out the last several weeks as the NFL players Union negotiates a new collective bargaining agreement with the owners association. With these negotiations comes the looming possibility of a lockout, and the fear that as of September there will be no football to be played. The current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) was set to expire yesterday, March 4, however, the player's union and the owners recently agreed to a seven day extension in attempt to further negotiate the new CBA. The players and owners are in disagreement on several major issues pertaining to the new agreement. First the players are opposed to a new schedule which would endow a new 18 game regular season, a season in which many players are not happy about. Players believe that increasing the season to 18 games increases the risk of player injury. This all comes after a season filled with fines in the name of protecting the safety of athletes. The players also feel as if the owners are boxing them out of their fair share of monetary rights from television sponsors. The issue of how the NFL should divide up it's 9 Billion dollar revenue has become the main focus of the CBA negotiations. While most believe that the lock out is a serious possibility, there are those skeptics who say it's all a sham. Buzz Bissinger, a noted NFL writer and analyst believes that the NFL is pumping the possibility of a lockout to increase the NFL's ratings. Bissinger thinks that the actuality of a lockout would be devastating for the NFL, and crippling for the sporting industry. Whether or not there will be an NFL season this coming September is unseen; the negotiations continue almost non stop in attempt to avoid a lockout. It is important to note that the NBA's collective bargaining agreement is also set to expire following this season, which could lead to another whirlwind battle between owners of NBA teams and the NBA players union. It's hard to believe that in today's world there's an actual possibility that there will not be professional football or basketball next season. It is because of owners and players alike, haggling between millions and billions that the entire world hopes in angst that they will be able to see their favorite teams on the field (or court) come fall.

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