Pro players, owners keep asking for more

Posted July 03, 2011, at 5:42 p.m.
Last modified July 03, 2011, at 8:01 p.m.

The holiday weekend is neither a holiday or a real weekend for those involved in the NBA and NFL negotiations.

Both leagues have now locked out the players, but negotiations continue in both cases.

The repeated incredulous question from fans, who generally cast a pox on both owners and players in both leagues, is “all that money and they can’t reach a deal?”

There are lots of issues involved in both leagues discussions, but in the end the crux of the problem is greed — what’s new?

The players have exercised enormous leverage over the owners for the past three decades as interest in the leagues grew, TV money was being thrown at both leagues and owners/players were pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars.

At the same time, the owners were soaking the public for tax-supported arenas, claiming that millions were being added to the local economies while every independent study done said otherwise.

Fans supported the craziness, willing to pay for ridiculously priced tickets, shelling out unfathomable parking fees and buying beers for 8 bucks that cost two cents to get into the glass.

We have created the next super rich class in the U.S., wildly apart from the public in terms of finances, and that class is one of sports owners and players.

They both want more.

The owners get the revenue from NFL exhibition games, so they want more of them.

The players know the exhibition games are a waste of time and want fewer, especially since they don’t get paid for them.

Fans are learning that those exhibition games are matters of theft from their pockets as they get to watch starters for a series and no-names for there rest of it.

In both leagues, the argument is about the division of money between the owners and players — what percentage should each get.

The NBA owners want a 50-50 split. The players want 54 percent.

The NFL players are asking for 48 percent of revenues, the owners have balked.

There are sideline comments about how all teams in the leagues need to be competitive, that some teams are failing financially, and that all sides want to do what’s right for the fans.

No one is fooled any longer. No one is opening the books so the public can see what’s really going on financially. That would be an embarrassment to all sides if the public found out how much of this they are really funding through tax breaks and deductions.

The NFL will get a deal done.

The NBA is another story and could sit for a while. Those owners are an angrier bunch.

Meanwhile, real life goes on, and the sooner fans realize that the better for all concerned.

Happy Fourth and have a safe weekend.

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