By: Kylan Watson
There has not been a labor strike in the National Football League (NFL) for five years. However, it may be a time for a labor strike High profile players in the NFL, like Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett, raising concerns about the role of Roger Goodell as judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to disciplining players. Players are also concerned about revenue sharing and player safety.
The NFL has been in the limelight negatively over the past year over player safety, with a concussion lawsuit still pending against the NFL, brought to court by former players over concussions suffered during their NFL career. The NFL has been trying to do its best to make player safety a huge priority for the league. The NFL has made strides, when it has come to this. When a player goes down with a head injury during the game, the team doctor and an independent doctor are on the sideline and help player’s recover from head injuries. However, the league has opened itself up to criticism from its players. Sherman ripped the league for having games on Thursday night’s when player’s bodies are not fully recovered.
During the summer of 2016, a lot of NFL players, spent their summer being envious of NBA players guaranteed money in their contracts. During the summer of 2016, the cap in the NBA increased allowing players to get contracts ranging from 30 million to 90 million dollars guaranteed. The NBA has one of the strongest players union in the country. The NBA has a 50/50 revenue contract. However, in the NFL the revenue split is 60/40. Meaning the owners get 60% of the revenue from the NFL and the player’s get 40% of the profits. This split creates a problem for players. They play in a very dangerous sport, and can be cut for any reason, and the money is only guaranteed as long as the player continues to be a valuable asset to his team.
Owners of NFL teams know their players only have about five to six year career window, before they lose value to their teams. Owners of NFL franchises front load contracts to make it seem like the player is getting a lot of money, when in actuality it really is not that much money. Here is the main problem for players, NFL players do not have a lot of endorsement deals like basketball players, so they rely on their contracts and because of this they really cannot afford a labor strike.
However, NFL players need to gain some courage and if they feel that strongly about getting their money, then they need to strike for a long period of time. The 2011 NFL labor strike only lasted five months, but players may have to strike longer than that to get their demands and concerns addressed by the league.