And now it is settled, Tom Brady will serve a four game suspension starting in September, and forget about appealing the punishment. The whole incident goes back about a year and a half when it was found that someone tinkered with the balls used by the Brady and the New England Patriots. What seems to have been forgotten in the whole Brady affair is this. The fact that the National Football League Players Association was once again beaten by the National Football League owners in the collective bargaining agreement negotiations game is what seems to have been forgotten. In fact, this kept the streak going strong stretching all the way back to 1974. During the last negotiations in 2011, in the normal course of bargaining, the players gave NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell the right to handle all disciplinary matters.
Although the players do make big-time money, they have not had good representation. Back in 1982, the players wanted free agency and money. That generation of players could have worked on a long range health plan for players with better pension benefits. The players took the money. The players folded in a 1987 strike, again no real post career benefit plan. By 1993, a Minneapolis Judge David Doty was involved and a long term CBA was reached, but there was still no concrete plan for post career health care.
If you contrast the NFL players with Major League Baseball, it would have been a blow out by the second quarter. The players’ representatives at the bargaining table just cared about money whereas Marvin Miller, the executive director for the baseball players group sold the players on pension, benefits and a gradual increase in money. Miller changed baseball; the NFL owners still beat the players every time. Article 46 gives Goodell power, but there is no article 46 for baseball and hockey players. Brady’s loss was a players association loss and that’s what happens when the basic goal is solely money now.
I’m Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business.