Saturday, March 12, 2011

Is The NFL Standoff Ideologically Driven?

It looks like the cancellation of the 2011-12 NFL season is becoming more and more of a reality as the standoff between stubborn millionaires and even-more stubborn billionaires gets uglier with each passing day. And to nobody's surprise, it has become a battle of egos as neither side wants to budge in their collective bargaining saga. The player's union wants the owners to open up their books so that they can see for themselves the losses owner's are claiming and owners are basically telling the union, f*** you, that's none of your business. Or at least, that's how the union perceives it. Now the owners have locked out the players and the players have countered by filing an antitrust lawsuit. Sheesh! What a mess.

But I wonder if ideology is playing a part in all this? With the labor movement dominating the headlines in recent times, I wonder where the owners stand on the ideological part of the equation and is it influencing their tough stance?

I guess if 2011 ended today, the term "collective bargaining" would win "phrase of the year" honors hands down. I mean, the phrase is all over the place these days.

Who knows if the NFL owners are keeping an eye on the battle going on in the Badger State between Wisconsin strongman Scott Walker and the public employee's union. And the reason for the standoff there, you guessed it, collective bargaining. The take-no-prisoners GOP governor has made quite a name for himself with his controversial collective bargaining-stripping legislation which has infuriated the pro-union movement. Whether we agree with Walker or not, the dude has shown he is tough as nails by refusing to buckle to the immense pressure he has received from protesters, the union big wigs and the pro-union political machine (in other words, the Democratic Party). Not even the threats of a recall made the governor budge from his convictions. He found a loophole in the so-called "quorum rule" and signed his controversial bill into law, much to the astonishment of public workers and the Democrats who fled the state to avoid a vote they knew they were going to lose.

So has Walker's toughness inspired the NFL owners? It wouldn't surprise me. It's no secret that there's no love lost between the Republican Party and labor unions, after all, unions donate hundreds of millions of dollars to Democratic candidates so why should the GOP give them any love? And surprise, surprise, stats have shown, 60 to 70 percent of political contributions made by the NFL from 1989 to 2009 have gone to the GOP. Of the 32 teams, 22 donated predominantly to Republican causes while only 12 gave most of their political loot to Democratic causes. My oh my, what a coincidence. Or is it?

A quick example: From 1989 to 2009 the San Diego Chargers have made $2,455,200 in political contributions. $40,773 (2%) to Democrats, $2,414,427 (98%) to Republicans. Hmmm? For a complete list, click here.

Now, I'm not saying that there's a conspiracy here. I'm just saying that in Wisconsin as in the NFL, you have powerful people who think alike. So conventional wisdom tells me that if the NFL owners lean to the GOP then their way of thinking also leans that way and labor unions are a thorn on their side that must be watered down.

NFLPA assistant executive director George Atallah told the press, "It was our way of telling the fans that we did everything we could – and it was a message to the league that we’d had enough of the deception and the disrespect – and the control." Well George, let me break it to ya, THEY DON'T LIKE YOU!

If my theory is correct, like the Wisconsin governor, I expect the NFL owners to be willing to go down with the ship rather than give in to the "pesky" player's union. Their ideological egos just won't allow it.

So bye, bye NFL season. Unless of course, the players fold.

No comments:

Post a Comment