Admit it: when you first heard Antonio Pierce’s suggestion that players take a firm stand in the CBA negotiations by walking out on the playoffs, you were a little bit intrigued. You probably thought, “That would never happen in a million years.” Then, you probably thought “…but what if it did?”
Pierce’s idea – which was just something he seemed to lob out there – got the NFL’s attention, too. We’ll just pass along exactly what the league executives posted on NFLlabor.com, since they seemed to do a fine job of making this debate embarrassingly one-sided.
With all due respect to Antonio Pierce, who was an outstanding player for the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, a player walkout during the playoffs would not help secure a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Nor do alliances with the AFL-CIO, Congressional interventions constantly sought by the union, or esoteric legal maneuvers, all in search of some kind of illusory leverage.
Here are a few additional facts:
• Playoff games are included in the revenue that goes into the share that determines player compensation and benefits under the CBA. Additional compensation for players that participate in playoff games also comes out of that 60 percent player share of Total Revenue as defined in the CBA.
• A “walk out” is a violation of the CBA. As spelled out on page 10 of the CBA, “Neither the NFLPA nor any of its members will engage in any strike, work stoppage, or other concerted action interfering with the operations of the NFL or any Club for the duration of this Agreement.”
George Attalah, spokesman for the NFLPA, later tweeted a response: “A player expresses his opinion and the league goes into overkill mode. What are they afraid of? We've already guaranteed no strike.”
Isn’t labor strife fun?
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