“Last Friday, negotiations between the NFL and the NFL Players Association ended without a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Unfortunately, the union's abandonment of bargaining and subsequent decertification led to the league's difficult but necessary step to lock out, something we tried hard to avoid.”
The letter goes on to further address the things the team claims that the union “walked away from,” including “rookie compensation system, enhanced player health and safety measures, improved retired player benefits and compromises on the union's financial demands.”
It fails to mention the fact that the sticking point wasn’t these issues. It was the owners’ refusal to disclose enough of their teams’ financials to satisfy the union. It’s like a really bad Carfax commercial where instead of the information you ask for, you get a steering wheel cover, a seat belt extender, and an air freshener to cover the stink.
While we can’t blame them for attempting to garner sympathy from frustrated fans, the simple fact remains that the lockout isn’t just about the potential loss of a football season. If the lockout continues into the season, it will affect more than just the players, owners, and fans. There are many people whose livelihoods depend on NFL games being played in 2011.
The letter ends with the Redskins GM affirming the team’s commitment to what they think matters most.
“You should know that the current status of the Collective Bargaining Agreement will not disrupt our preparation for the 2011 season or swerve our focus from the Redskins' objective - WINNING.”