Tuesday, April 10, 2007

No problem with this: NFL suspensions

The Monk never can fathom why sports reporters and various professional athletes protest so strenuously when Gene Upshaw agrees with the NFL Commissioner on penalties and discipline. The common refrain is that Upshaw merely a tool of the NFL Owners -- Bryant Gumbel famously stated that Paul Tagliabue needed to show his successor, current commissioner Roger Goodell, where he kept Upshaw's leash. But large unionized businesses work better when owners and employees actually work well together. The NFL is the top sports league in the US for a reason; baseball has reversed its downslide and regained its place ahead of the NBA in large part because Bud Selig has kept labor peace for 12 years. Southwest Airlines is the only consistently profitable major airline in the US because it has never had a major work stoppage. The NHL is in the tank because players and owners despised each other.

Today, it's actually gratifying to hear basically no protest from the NFLPA regarding the suspensions of Adam "Pacman" Jones and Chris Henry. Jones is out for the 2007 season following yet another arrest -- he's had about 10 since being drafted in 2005; Henry will miss 8 games after his most recent arrest, which is just another in a litany of run-ins that Henry has had. Indeed, Upshaw agreed with Goodell that the NFL needed a stronger and better-defined disciplinary policy for the ultramorons in the league.

Henry and Jones are lucky -- if they worked in any non-union job anywhere in the country, they would have been fired long ago. Even most unionized professions would have drummed them out by now (except NYC teachers). Perhaps they'll actually smarten up at some point.

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