Draft Day boycott a joke

Draft Day boycott a joke

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 03/15/2011 - 22:24
The NFLPA, in its new role as a “professional trade association,” is already acting unprofessionally. The players’ former union, which decertified last week in an attempt to allow individuals to sue the NFL and prevent a lockout, is trying to undermine the draft next month by recommending that the top prospects not attend. For years it has been tradition that the best of the best walk across the stage to shake hands with the commissioner after their name is called. The players then pose for the obligatory photo op holding up the jersey and wearing the cap of the team that just drafted them. But, in a move so petty that it’s laughable, the NFLPA wants to rain on the players’ parade by having them boycott the event at the Radio City Music Hall in New York. And that will end the work stoppage and bring about a labor settlement how? The draftees will no doubt feel pressured to fall in line with the NFLPA, which at some point will return as the players’ union and their representation. But why should they? Forget about the fact that the whole dog and pony show on Draft Day is corny and mawkish. It’s still a special day for the players and their families. But aside from that, why should the rookies take orders from an organization that doesn’t even represent them yet. This is the same labor union/trade association that will slash by tens of millions of dollars the bonus money that rookies will receive under a new CBA, whenever one is reached. A rookie wage scale will be part of any new agreement, and the rookies will be the ones who take it in the shorts. Those who are suggesting that draftees fall in line lest they suffer the consequences down the road from angry union members may have a point. But, five months after the fact, if there is a 2011 season, does anyone really believe the veterans in the league will remember who participated in the Draft Day ceremony and who didn’t? Hopefully they all have more important things to worry about.
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