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Throwing My Two Cents Into The NFL Labor Dispute

We're hearing a lot of talk about taking sides in the NFL labor dispute that very well may lead to uneventful Sundays this fall for the millions of NFL fans who are caught in the middle.  I have thus far refrained from opining on this because it is such a tricky situation.  But today I came across a thought I'd like to run by all of you.  Follow me to the clearing at the end of the jump and we'll discuss this thought......


While everyone seems to be out there picking a side, let's face it..  Most of us really only care about being able to watch the games this fall.  We can't relate, for the most part, to the idea of the players fighting to gain even more money when they make more than most of us will ever see to play a game that we all would love to play.  

But it's a business.  These guys who play games for a living generate billions every year in revenue.  But does that entitle them to an even larger piece of the revenue pie?  The NFL is currently the most profitable professional sports league in the world.  The billion dollar profit margin almost doubles that of the next most profitable sports league, the English Premier League which raked in $513M for 2009 and more than double the next most profitable American sports league's profit margin.  MLB took in $496M in 2009.

Yet, NFL NFL players make the least per player, on average, of the 4 major sporting leagues in America.  

NFL: $1.1M each for 1696 players: $1.87B total salary with $1B profit margin

NHL: $1.9M each for 690 players:  $1.31B total with $125M profit margin

MLB: $3.3M each for 750 players: $2.48B total with $496M profit margin

NBA: $5.6M each for 450 players: $2.52B total with $207M profit margin

This does not shed a good light on the NFL.  Highest profits, lowest average wages and second lowest total salary expenditure.  

But the argument can also be made that the NFL has the most players, must spend the most money on upkeep (no other sport in America is putting up $1B stadiums) and the most ridiculous rookie salary scale.  

The first thought that came to me was this......if the league divided the entirety of the profit margin up, and gave it all to the players, that would increase total average salary by just under $600K and would leave none of it for the owners.

The next logical step here in the thought process is this:  How are the players claiming they arent getting their share when, if you add their salaries and the profit margin together, the players are getting over 65% of the total?  I understand that the salaries of the executives come before the profit figure, not after, but still.  

Then the thought came to me.  After all the bills, the NFL is paying the players $1.87B, while keeping $1B for themselves.  Now, assume that the NFL owners do not reinvest any of that money.  Assume that it's all for themselves.  Remember that if the catastrophic happens tomorrow and somehow the league goes belly up, the owners have all the risk.  they owe all the debt.  The players carry none of that.  Yet the players are still taking home $1.87B while the owners are pocketing $1B.  Think about this for a minute, then comment below.