No matter how you slice it, Saturday is a bad day for the NFL and its players. Following a week of intense negotiations, a new collective bargaining agreement never materialized as the NFL Players Association dissolved and the league locked the players out at the stroke of midnight. The lockout isn’t the end of the process, but exists as a significant bump in the road for the NFL as the league works to resolve its current labor dispute.
Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Chad Pennington called the decision to decertify necessary while praising the union for taking a stand.
“Some unions would not have made such a bold move because they are about the ‘union’ and not its workers,” he added. “I still think that a compromise will be reached. This is just the nature of the situation, and that’s why they call it ‘business.’”
Sure, it’s just business, but it’s business that hurts all involved — from those forced to take pay-cuts to the fans stuck in the middle while watching the fight unfold. The players and owners are each acting in their own best interests, engaging in a high-stakes poker game with billions of dollars on the table. And it’s all done in a messy way, with both sides sniping at each other in a public way.
Calling one side a winner and one a loser after the week’s proceedings would be a disservice. In this situation, everyone loses. For the first time in more than two decades, it’s come to a work stoppage for the NFL, the nation’s biggest professional sports organization.
And it’s an incredible shame.
For the latest on the work stoppage, check out the rest of our NFL lockout StoryStream.