To the AP’s Ben Feller, football is the most important event on the planet right now.After delivering prepared statements about his meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and the situation in Libya, President Obama took questions.
Feller was the first to get a question in and he immediately asked whether the NFL’s labour dispute was on Obama’s radar. Thankfully, it isn’t (via NY Times).
“We’ve got owners, most of whom are worth close to $1 billion; you’ve got players who are making millions of dollars. My working assumption at a time when people are having to cut back, compromise, and worry about making the mortgage and, you know, paying for their kids’ college education, is that the two parties should be able to work it out without the president of the United States intervening.
I’m a big football fan, but I also think that for an industry that’s making $9 billion a year in revenue, they can figure out how to divide it up in a sensible way. And be true to their fans, who are the ones who, obviously, allow for all the money that they’re making. So my expectation and hope is that they’ll resolve it without me intervening, because it turns out I’ve got a lot of other stuff to do.”
Well said, Mr. President.
But revolutions in the Middle East shouldn’t prevent Obama from placing a simple phone call to encourage the owners and players to settle quickly, according to ESPN’s Jason Smith.
Get a clue, Smith. Granted, you’re correct in that wouldn’t take much time to encourage a resolution, but that’s not the point. Such a phone call would inevitably garner so much attention and the political press would run wild with it. The move would lend further credence to the belief that Obama is more celebrity than politician, and Obama-bashers would spend hours on TV, radio, and in the press questioning the president’s commitment to real-world issues.
Should Obama place a two-minute phone call to NFL negotiators it would be nothing more than an act of symbolism. And while that may speed the process ever so slightly, it would also symbolise that Obama’s head isn’t where it needs to be. Sports issues are better left to morons like you and me.
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