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gunns
01-21-2010, 07:04 AM
NFL players lobby Congress in battles with league
By FREDERIC J. FROMMER, Associated Press Writer
15 hours, 15 minutes ago

Buzz up! 15 PrintWASHINGTON (AP)—Pro football players sought lawmakers’ help Wednesday in preventing NFL owners from imposing a lockout after next season and said a league victory in a Supreme Court antitrust case could affect free agency and ticket prices.

“We want Congress to know that management is pushing us toward a lockout,” said Kevin Mawae(notes), the union president and one of about 30 current and former players who were on Capitol Hill.

A league official said the players’ time would be better spent negotiating with the owners than lobbying Congress.

Mawae, a Tennessee Titans center, said in an interview that he hopes Congress will exert its leverage over the league to help prevent a lockout, which players fear the owners plan to do following the 2010 season. He cited comments by New York Giants co-owner John Mara to The New York Times this week that the two sides might be moving further apart in negotiations for a new deal.

Owners contend the existing agreement, which calls for players to receive about 60 percent of revenues, is too favorable for players.

“We like the agreement the way it is,” Washington Redskins wide receiver Antwaan Randle El(notes) told The Associated Press. He said owners “want us to go back to the ’70s,” before the current free agency system started.

Several players said they told lawmakers how a lockout would affect workers who depend on games, such as employees of football stadiums and nearby restaurants. They said Congress has leverage over the league, including an antitrust exemption for broadcasting contracts that helped turn the NFL into the economic powerhouse it is today.

“I want Congress to review why they gave the exemption,” Houston Texans guard Chester Pitts(notes) said. Holding his fingers a half-inch apart, he added, “Right now, the NFL has that much oversight. We want more.”

League Vice President Joe Browne said in an e-mail that the union’s new executive director, DeMaurice Smith, won election on a platform “that included ‘using’ Congress to exert influence on our labor talks. Kevin’s comments—and the visits by dozens of players to the Hill today—are consistent with that promise. The owners and players are going to negotiate a deal. The only question is when. Having the union and its player reps spending more time in the negotiating room and less time lobbying Congress would be a good start.”

The players also brought up a Supreme Court case in which the NFL argues it should be considered one business when it comes to selling NFL-branded items. The court heard arguments on the case last week.

Apparel maker American Needle claimed that the league’s exclusive contract with Reebok International Ltd. for headgear violated antitrust laws. Players fear a broad ruling from the court that would go beyond merchandise.

“A judgment in favor of the NFL could severely damage the system that we’ve had in place for the last 20-something years,” Mawae said, predicting such a decision could affect free agency for players and help owners control ticket prices. He made the same point in testimony before a House Judiciary subcommittee.

Browne said the case simply deals with the licensing of intellectual property.

Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, who heads the subcommittee, wondered why the NFL needs “special antitrust immunity. The NFL is seeking indirectly from the courts what it could not get from Congress.”

But the full committee’s ranking Republican, Lamar Smith of Texas, called the NFL and the players union “literally and figuratively big boys. They do not need Congress’ help to referee every business dispute. That is what the courts and the labor negotiation process are for.”

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AtSSRM6W7lAXPbZeyeibduU5nYcB?slug=ap-congress-nflunion&prov=ap&type=lgns

worm
01-21-2010, 07:38 AM
Several players said they told lawmakers how a lockout would affect workers who depend on games, such as employees of football stadiums and nearby restaurants.


Always nice to know that the players are thinking of the little guys. ::)

If I were the players union....I would start urging the players to open a savings account, stop buying bling and prepare for a long, protracted, committed fight from the owners.

I truly hope Congress finds something better to do with its time than get involved in this.

Rohirrim
01-21-2010, 08:07 AM
Wasn't it greed that killed the golden goose?

I have to agree with this:
But the full committee’s ranking Republican, Lamar Smith of Texas, called the NFL and the players union “literally and figuratively big boys. They do not need Congress’ help to referee every business dispute. That is what the courts and the labor negotiation process are for.”

Garcia Bronco
01-21-2010, 08:19 AM
I hope there is a lockout. The Fans need to have a lockout too...especially when the league comes back. Don't pay for 7 dollar beers anymore or 80 dollar seats up in the atmosphere.

Pony Boy
01-21-2010, 11:01 AM
Yep, like the Congress doesn't have more important stuff on their plate right now......I hope my Congressman is worrying about terrorism and the economy and not the unfair treatment of NFL players.

gyldenlove
01-21-2010, 11:35 AM
Normaly I am all for unions and fair compensation. But in this case the players are badly misguided, congress has nothing to do with negotiating a new CBA and the fact that the players are already now panicing enough to approach congress on the matter is just giving the owners even more reason to squeeze the players.

If you show this early in the process that you are that scared of a lockout the owners will just put the thumbscrews on even tighter because they can afford a lockout much easier than the players.

Garcia Bronco
01-21-2010, 11:38 AM
I am just not going to take sides between millionaires and billionaires.

tsiguy96
01-21-2010, 11:44 AM
I am just not going to take sides between millionaires and billionaires.

whats worse, is they are arguing how to spend the money that poor and middle class people generally provide them. heres an idea: stop charging so much for games, beer and food at the games (dont care about merch if you want that, prepare to pay), and stop paying these guys millions on top of millions every single year. try looking out for the many (fans) not the few (owners and players)

not that it will happen

no-pseudo-fan
01-21-2010, 01:02 PM
While the players were playing checkers, the owners were playing chess. The players are going to be S.O.L. and the owners are already set up to go"to the mattresses" with a bumch of money to tide them over.

bpc
01-21-2010, 03:47 PM
I think after the McDaniel era, I'll be ready for a nice long break from professional football.

It will help me recharge my battery for whomever the new guy is.

UberBroncoMan
01-21-2010, 04:27 PM
I think after the McDaniel era, I'll be ready for a nice long break from professional football.

It will help me recharge my battery for whomever the new guy is.

What the hell does bpc stand for?

DBroncos4life
01-21-2010, 04:34 PM
Mother****er congressman do you know how much it cost to insure a Ferrari? Please we need help!

milehighJC
01-21-2010, 04:39 PM
Get ready for replacement players

Hercules Rockefeller
01-21-2010, 04:40 PM
Mother****er congressman do you know how much it cost to insure a Ferrari?

That will probably be the first and last time that someone quotes The Replacements on the Interwebz.

DBroncos4life
01-21-2010, 04:42 PM
That will probably be the first and last time that someone quotes The Replacements on the Interwebz.

Damn I thought I could pass that one off on one of my own. ROFL!

Hercules Rockefeller
01-21-2010, 04:45 PM
Damn I thought I could pass that one off on one of my own. ROFL!

I think technically it is, since you didn't get it right.

I believe it's:

Do you know how much insurance costs on a Ferrari mother****er?

DBroncos4life
01-21-2010, 04:50 PM
I think technically it is, since you didn't get it right.

I believe it's:

Do you know how much insurance costs on a Ferrari mother****er?

That is true it's been awhile since I have seen that movie. :) It had some funny parts in it though.