That’s 14 consecutive years of pretty steady growth, followed by decline. The players’ share of the pie continues to get smaller, and for the owners, even larger.
There are plenty of signs that the winter of 2017-18 was the first wave in a troubling trend, from the explosion in the number of free agents — nfl authentic jerseys nike the volume works against the players as a function of supply and demand — to the recent rash of signings of young players who agree to forgo free agency for a year or two or three. The players are aware of all of this, of course, and spring training camps were filled with conversations about what should come next for the union. When Tony Clark met with teams, some players asked the executive director very hard questions. The frustration and anger over the financial shift is raw and deep.
But to date, the union’s collective response has been surprisingly slow, and probably for the obvious reason: In an industry in which careers average only a few years at the big league level, the players are mostly focused on their work. On pitching, on hitting, on the increased preparation required for games scheduled almost daily for six months.
This is why Clark needs to drive the changes that are needed, as soon as possible. In some presidential administrations, cabinet secretaries will provide letters of resignation that can be used when needed, so when the president sees a need for change, he can execute it quickly.
Given the current context, a letter of resignation from Clark would push the players’ executive committee into needed action. This wouldn’t necessarily mean that the letter would be accepted or that Clark’s role or title would even change. But it would give the players an immediate opportunity to reassess, to restructure, to strengthen their side.
And with that proffer of resignation, Clark should recommend that the players create an advisory board — a legal brain trust — that could evaluate the union’s position and challenges, and offer suggestions. The counsel of Don Fehr and Gene Orza could be gleaned in this way. Virginia Seitz, who has successfully argued cases on behalf of the players’ association in the past, would be another name to consider.
As it stands, some players have talked about waiting until the executive-board meeting in the forthcoming offseason to give Clark more time for change on his own. new nfl jerseys 2013 Clark is well-liked and well-respected as a person, and some players respect how much he cares for them. But the players should not wait to start the engine of change.