It may be hard to believe but there is finally something to agree with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. For months the commissioner has been destroyed by the media in the NFL dispute with the players. However this week it has been disclosed Goodell has sought advise from the only family ownership in the league that has real experience with labor contract relations.
“I speak to them frequently to take their experience and whatever they can offer to help us,” Goodell said on a conference call with Lions season-ticket holders.
The Ford family that owns the Detroit Lions has long owned the Ford Motor company. Who better than to lean on but the Ford’s and their expertise? After all it was only Ford that didn’t participate in the past bail out of the automotive industry. Plus the Ford’s have years of experience in labor disputes with Unions.
The Ford’s can prove to add valuable insight to the commissioner. As he states all over the country during his “public relation” tour to the season ticket holders in each NFL city, Goodell needs advice on what to do. Unfortunately, he won’t listen to even the most diehard fans when they ask him to just get back to the table.
Goodell wants negotiation, or so he says. However he finds himself waiting on what the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals is going to do. Goodell said the key to reaching an agreement will be through collective bargaining, not litigation, as he has said numerous times in similar conference calls with ticket holders for about half of the NFL’s teams.
Why wait? Why should the league and the players sit back and wait for three judges in St. Louis make a decision that will really have no bearing on negotiations. If the commissioner and the players both agree it will take negotiating to finalize this lockout, then why sit around and try to explain to everyone this is the best course of action.
Maybe Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch has explained it best for the players. Bosch says there’s no reason to go back to the table yet.
“Really, mediation is kind of pointless until the appeals process is over,” Vanden Bosch said.
It’s understandable why he would make that point. Until the court takes a stand one way or the other, it’s unsure which side has the upper hand. That decision will put one side on the defensive with the other.
That isn’t the place to be. It puts one side at a disadvantage and achieving a fair and equitable agreement would be almost impossible.
But the Ford Family should be able to explain that to the commissioner.