One of the main arguments in favor of the players in their labor dispute with the NFL team owners is that this is unlike any other business that one might try comparing it to. However, even with that assumption, the owners "own" the business and the players are employees, albeit very highly paid ones. Without the quality of play by the employees, the owners will not have the opportunity to make their business successful and thus, they need to work with the players to ensure both sides are happy and feel they are getting what they are worth.
Unfortunately, that cannot always be the case, be it in the NFL or out in what we all are calling the "real world." Every NFL player is well paid, not just the multi-millionaires, every last one of them. The minimum salary is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that does not include benefits and perks of being in the NFL. Doors open for NFL players figuratively and literally. Freebies, be it in restaurants, sporting events and other opportunities abound for just about every player from the star QB to the player on the bench.
These guys are treated like prized thoroughbreds. They receive the best medical treatment, the finest food and have all of their off the field needs catered to them in one way or another They know when they strap on the pads that their career could be over in just one play and no one has ever put a gun to their heads telling them this is the course of the lives that they must take. This is the job they have chosen and they love what they do and for most of them the pursuit of the ring is their ultimate goal. Along the way, the riches and benefits of being the big man on campus in their town and for some in the entire country, is a drug that they cannot ignore.
The owners have every right to make a profit and a good one at that. They put up the tens and hundreds of millions of dollars to run their teams and for most of them, they have earned their riches through hard work and shrewd business investments. The players embarrass themselves when they have sometimes referred to themselves as slaves, as most of us working class stiffs would love to be enslaved in their place.
Not to disparage the rights of the players to try to get the best deal they can to continue to earn a very good living for as long as they can remain in the league. However, this is where the road divides and the players stick to one path while they should be following the other.
Over the past two years as this current CBA ran down, both sides continued to negotiate behind the public scenes. When it came down to the wire, the negotiations intensified and when they agreed to a seven day extension, they had their final shot at getting the best possible deal.
This is the only point I am trying to make in this lengthy diatribe. The players had every chance to make the best possible deal they could and in the end they needed to close ranks and accept the deal that was on the table by the owners. The players wanted more but this was the best they could expect in this time of financial instability everywhere else in the world other than the National Football League.
What I'm trying to say is that they had the owners' final offer on the table as the clock ran down and while it may not have been exactly or even close to what they wanted, it was there for the taking and they should have taken it. None of the players, once again from the biggest star to the lowest grunt, would have gone hungry while employed by their teams. The owners have the right to be greedy, as bad as that sounds and when the players say "no deal," their greediness looks a lot worse.
Now, they stand to lose a lot more than what they would have had they taken the money and ran, and on top of it, are beginning to look like the bad people to a majority of the public and the tide will only continue to turn against them the longer this thing goes on.