I was reading Sports Illustrated this weekend and came across Damon Hack’s article about the end of the NFL lockout. Although I am generally tired of hearing about the lockout, especially now that football is back, something caught my eye. Hack focused on the perspective of the fans, and interviewed Brian Frederick and David Goodfriend of the Sports Fans Coalition. Frederick and Goodman had sought a seat at the table during negotiations between the owners and the players:
Frederick, the coalition’s executive director, and Goodfriend, the group’s chairman and a former staffer in the Clinton White House, argued that the fans deserved to have a voice in shaping the future of a game they helped build. “Conservatively, the public has put $6.5 billion into NFL stadiums, and some experts think it has been upward of $10 billion,” Frederick says. “This is not your typical employer-employee negotiation. This is something that the public has a vested interest in.”
Neither the owners nor the players invited Frederick’s group into the negotiations, though “DeMaurice sought me out after a session in D.C.,” Frederick says. “He was very gracious and thought we made a lot of good points.”
As for the league?
“The NFL ignored us,” Frederick says.