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View Diary: The NFL lockout and post-career health care (118 comments)

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  •  No one holds a gun to... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Samer, RyanBTC

    the head of anyone who plays football. Every interview of every player I've ever seen over the last 30+ years I've watched football, they say they play because they love it.

    And the NFL minimum is something along the line of $400-500K/year, which is a hell of a lot more than I make.

    •  Not fair... (5+ / 0-)

      No one holds a gun to the head of anyone who works in a coal mine either. Granted the situations of coal miners are different than pro athletes, but why pit labor against labor? I think all labor should be valued whether you work for a football team, or a mining company, or WalMart.

      •  football is different. it's a CHOICE (0+ / 0-)

        coal miners don't get one. nor does their union get them $400K salaries, so your "comparison" is ridiculous.

        Even calling the four major league players' representatives "unions" is a slap in the face of real unions.

        The NFLPA gets big money from the league; the stars get big money from the league. Perhaps they should plow some of that into a fund for their teammates. The league and owners have responsibilities that go beyond a player's career years.

        Biut please don't insult our intelligence comparing major league players' associations to teachers and coal miners.

        •  Restricted choice (0+ / 0-)

          Every job is a "choice." A coal miner might have restricted choices, but it is still a choice. Instead of dividing labor into worthy and unworthy categories, why don't we work to pay coal miners just as much as pro football players?

    •  Same goes for our troops (3+ / 0-)

      What? not comparable?

      Who held a gun to the head of those that joined the military since Vietnam?

      Fucked up in the head is fucked for the rest of your life and doesn't matter how much your paid, how much they call you a hero and what benefits ya get, cuz the $ mean nothing if your too fucked up.

      I'd rather be poor w/ my brain, than a rich vegetable, but then again, being poor is it's own mental disease.

    •  Is your career limited to a decade? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sngmama, tommymet, Lost Left Coaster, Loge

      You can't compare your salary to the NFL minimum, because it's a very different kind of work that typically leads to a much shorter career -- and a shorter life, period.

      Yes, a "minimum wage" NFL player will make far more than I make (as an engineer) -- but he'll be lucky to make it to 35 before being forced to retire.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sat Feb 26, 2011 at 09:53:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not going to cry for (0+ / 0-)

        people who choose to play a sport, especially not when they're fighting over a multi-billion dollar pile of money.

        If this were any other industry and the players called it something other than a "union", all you people would be bashing them as greedy capitalists. But just because they choose that word, suddenly they're" brothers in arms."

        And the vast majority of NFL players DO go on to other careers and are just fine. So please stop insulting my intelligence.

        Why liberals are even defending this is beyond me - this isn't a "union" by any stretch of the imagination.

        •  Nobody's saying you should cry for them, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TexasTom, bryduck

          just not actively take the side of their employers who are threatening to keep them from playing the game they love so that they can (a) refuse to make concessions on long term health risks and (b) increase those risks by making the players do 2 extra games per year.  Or at least if you're going to take that view, back it up with some actual arguments.

          How are they not a union?  Because they make a lot of money?  How much do the owners make?  And if the owners aren't making enough, how is that the players fault?

          If nothing else, I think the NFLPA can draw attention to the issue of labor rights in this country and their success can be something that unions around the country can point to.  I think the owners are going to wind up looking bad because they'd be the ones trying to lock them out, with the NFLPA going to court to be allowed to play.  

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Sun Feb 27, 2011 at 08:51:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And the vast majority of players (0+ / 0-)

          only play for 3-4 years, too, so they aren't the ones who typically need the medical help you apparently want to deny them.
          This is indeed a union, because the other side is ownership/management. The players may make more than most of us--as long as they can perform as popular entertainers better than 99.99999% of the world's population, that is--but the owners make a magnitude more. Liberals should defend all people who are in a situation where they have less power than those who employ them, regardless of comparative wealth. It's about power relationships, not money.
          Or do you think that unions should only be allowed to function up to a certain income level and no higher? Where do you draw that line?

    •  Who cares? (0+ / 0-)

      Just because they love the game doesn't mean that they have to suffer the consequences of traumatic brain injury, especially when those risks might not have been known.  Moreover, there's reason to believe that precisely because players love the game (or the perks that go along with it), they systematically discount the risks from a financial standpoint.  The party best able to bear the cost is the one with a continued income stream from football, i.e., the owners.

      As for the $400K issue, the average NFL career lasts about 5 years, after which they players are left to pursue other options for which they've had no training.  That money also all too frequently gets eaten by agents, free-loading friends and family, and, in any event, is not guaranteed.  But even if that money had been invested conservatively and effectively, it still might not cover some of the long-term medical expenses, like multiple knee replacements, etc., or to compensate for something like early-onset dementia, where the issue isn't compensation to the player for the injury but to the family for any losses in earning power or consortium.  

      Anyway, the fact they get $400/500K out of owners who collude on their salaries to keep them down (at least for for late-round rookies or undrafted free agents) should indicate how much money they generate for the owners, and they should be entitled to a piece of that, either in cash or in greater post-retirement health benefits.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Sun Feb 27, 2011 at 08:47:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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