Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Several NFL players have filed a new lawsuit — in addition to the original “Brady v. NFL” — asking a court to block the owners’ lockout on the grounds that it unfairly restricts their ability to work.The second lawsuit focuses on undrafted rookies, who would not be represented by the NFLPA (even if it still existed.) They hope to counter the NFL’s argument that the union’s decertification was a “sham” negotiating tactic, by pointing out that other non-union workers are affected too.
It also covers retired players who are worried about their pensions.
Meanwhile, the players who aren’t involved in legal proceedings sit on their hands and wait. Esquire magazine interviewed two of them — eight-year veteran Jason Babin and practice squad rookie R.J. Stanford — to see what they’ve been up to.
Babin is a free agent and can’t sign with anyone until this mess is settled, leaving him wondering where his kids will go to school next year. Stanford hasn’t gotten a paycheck in three months and can’t even collect the weekly workout pay that sustains many a player during the offseason. Both admit that they aren’t in financial jeopardy, but Stanford’s only been in the league a year and was only on the full roster a few weeks.
But they were the smart ones who saved. A lot of players won’t be cutting back on their extravagant lifestyles and they’ll all be in trouble soon if the paychecks don’t resume.
However, Stanford quietly reveals a even bigger threat to union solidarity, when he says, “I’m bored. I just want to get back to work.” Imagine how he’ll feel in August (and how fans feel already.)
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