Q: In the following Economist article, the author shows a graph of players’ salary growth by professional league from 1990.
It’s striking that N.F.L. players have had lower salary growth than the M.L.B. and N.H.L., as the N.F.L. has become the most profitable league and gained more “sports related” market share than any other league in that time period.
The article implies that this is due to the weakness of the union (because football players have shorter careers than other athletes on average), but is it possible that the N.F.L.P.A. and players have had the foresight to participate in revenue sharing and salary caps to support growth of the league as a whole? It would be a remarkable example of win-win thinking, if true. —vimspot
The timing of this article is fascinating because it falls in the same year (2006) that the current collective bargaining agreement was extended. Then, in May of 2008 — a short two years after — the owners opted out. I still can’t understand why such a win-win scenario would ever be jeopardized.Paul Tagliabue and Gene Upshaw took their licks, but it’s hard to argue with more than two decades of labor peace and unprecedented growth. The N.F.L. is America’s sport. Forty million people watched the N.F.L. draft in April, more than the M.L.B. and N.B.A. playoffs combined. Look at this year’s television ratings.