The NFL was forced to open their doors as Judge Susan Nelson ruled twice that their lock out of the players was out of order. Making billions of dollars in profits was not enough for the greedy owners so they decided to plot and plan to take it away from the players by opting out of their labor deal and then tried to use billions of network money to wait out the players. Doesn't it remind you of typical tea party corporate and political behavior? All unions are being attacked from all sides. Roger Goodell, who was hired by the owners to be their Commissioner has also been used as a very vocal tool to attack the players instead of remaining an impartial voice. Here's his WSJ op-ed which spins the facts and attacks the players union.
Rather than address the challenge of improving the collective-bargaining agreement for the benefit of the game, the union-financed lawsuit attacks virtually every aspect of the current system including the draft, the salary cap and free-agency rules, which collectively have been responsible for the quality and popularity of the game for nearly two decades. A union victory threatens to overturn the carefully constructed system of competitive balance that makes NFL games and championship races so unpredictable and exciting.
The deal that the owners opted out of was working fine for both sides as football is more popular and profitable than ever, but suddenly it's the union that wants to destroy football.
Nate Jackson responded to Goodell on Dead Spin:
This PR push by the NFL — a response to DeMaurice Smith's recent public attempts to shed light on what a typical career is like for an NFL athlete — is confusing to a former player like me: confusing, disingenuous, and ignorant. Confusing because it implies that the average NFL career, the average professional football existence, is comparable to the anomalous careers of Pro Bowlers and first-round draft picks. Disingenuous because it comes at a time when Goodell purports to care profoundly about the health of his players. Ignorant because it dismisses the thousands of athletes who sacrifice their minds and their bodies for a sport that keeps them hanging by a thread for years, shuffling them in and out of training camps and practice squads and never paying them full value for their services.
In other labor disputes, the commissioner has usually not been involved. During the lock out, players didn't hide their feelings about him. Good for the fans to recognize the hackery of Goodell and when he took the stage to start the draft he was booed by the Radio City crowd.