I recently came across two articles that discuss the NFL’s relationship with its players’ union, the NFLPA, following the collective bargaining agreement that was supposed to bring labor peace for the next decade.
Barry Wilner, AP Pro Football Writer has published an interesting piece in the Kansas City Star, focusing on the collusion lawsuit involving an alleged secret salary cap for the 2010 season. Wilner interviews sports law experts Gary Roberts of Indiana University and Gabe Feldman of Tulane University:
“Filing this lawsuit is a provocative act on the part of the union, in whose interest it seems to me would be to try and build good relationships with the league that it is working with,” said Roberts.
Feldman said “[w]e thought we had 10 years of labor peace and we now have to put labor peace in quotes. We are seeing an ever-increasing number of battles between both sides over every decision, major and not so major.
Andrew Brandt examines the personal and stylistic differences of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith as a possible explanation for the continuing disagreements between the parties:
Goodell is understated, with public comments on task yet unrevealing. Smith is bombastic, with inflammatory language for effect. (Last week’s “Cartels do what cartels will do,” described the NFL’s alleged collusive behavior.) Goodell is a businessman maneuvering discreetly in private; Smith is a litigator perpetually addressing the jury.
It certainly appears that the NFL will be experiencing a different brand of labor peace during the current collective bargaining agreement.