Negotiations broke off because the NFLPA preferred to take things to court. If it was the court of public opinion they had in mind, they're already in the process of blowing it, big time.
It's probably not a secret anymore that I fully support the players over the NFL owners. I had thought my reasons were logical and clear; but there are a lot of people here at CSC who take the contrary view, and I can't claim their thinking is impaired. What surprised me even more was a recent Yahoo poll I saw that the public is almost perfectly split down the middle. The players don't have nearly the sympathy I expected they would have.
Now, they're working on eliminating that sympathy entirely. A lot of it has to do with talkative players who aren't media-savvy, speaking to savvy media who are drooling for a nice, juicy controversy to report on. Such as:
Then there's this:
I know the comments sections on sports sites are mainly nothing but controversy mines; still, it's illuminating to find out what the public actually thinks about such things as this, particularly when the reaction is overwhelmingly on one side. You get comments like this:
I am no Steelers fan but let me see if I get this straight. Ryan Clark is taking shots at the Rooney family? Is this the same Rooney that is so loyal he has had 3 coaches in the last 40 plus years? The same Rooney who authored the Rooney rule to try to make head coaching positions more accessible to minorities and then backed it up by hiring a minority? The same Rooney who became Ambassador to Ireland because he is such a good humanitarian? That Rooney? Is that the Rooney Clark was talking about? Just checking.
You even get NFL players themselves backpeddling furiously, trying to avoid taking a collective foot to the collective mouth. Our own Heath Evans teamed up with Ryan Grant of the Packers to blast Peterson.
It's an unfortunate fact that even in court, the right side doesn't always prevail. The players may truly believe they have a winning case before a judge; but they'd better a light a candle in thanks that it's not the public that's rendering the decision. Because they're losing the fans.