by Scott Weiss
At 5:00 pm today, word came down that the NFLPA decertified their union, starting the ball rolling for endless battles in the courts between the NFL owners and players. With the enviable task of trying to split up a $9 billion revenue pie, the two sides chose the Armageddon Scenario of blowing up the league instead. So, you may ask, why isn’t the headline of this post, “NFLPA Decertifies” or “NFL Owners to lock out players?” The answer is that it is not about the owners and players anymore; it is about the two sides declaring war against their loyal fans.
This is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Not only has the NFL soaked the fans with public funding shake downs, outrageous ticket, concession and merchandise prices, ruthless seat license fees, and TV blackouts, now they thank us by shutting down the game that we have financed to the tune of billions of dollars in profits.
We can either look at this as a sad day in the history of American sports, or an historic turning point in the efforts of sports fans to take back the games that we love. I choose to see it as a turning point; an opportunity for fans to join forces under the Sports Fans Coalition banner to have our millions of voices heard and respected.
Over the next days and weeks, Sports Fans Coalition will be developing its own strategy to counteract the outrageous actions taken by the NFL owners and players, and give fans a strong voice in this battle. Only through coming together as one can we make a difference. As an active member of Sports Fans Coalition over the past year, I have seen our movement steadily grow. I am making a plea to my fellow fans to get more involved as advocates and at minimum, become a free member of Sports Fans Coalition at www.SportsFans.org.
Scott Weiss is the Local Chapter Chair for SFC-New York/New Jersey and an SFC Sportwriter Fellow. He has been involved in the sports fans advocacy movement since 2000. He is a life long fan of the Mets, Jets, Knicks, and Rangers.