Skip to content

Marxism in the NFL

April 17, 2011

With an impending NFL lockout, many people are beginning to worry.  A year in America without a football season?!  That’s like taking fire works away from the 4th of July!  For those that don’t know, there is currently a butting of heads occurring between the NFL team owners and the NFL Player’s Association that could lead to there being no 2011-12 NFL season.  Basically, the owners and the player’s association had a collective bargaining agreement that divided up the total revenue the NFL annually accrued and dispersed it based on an agreement that was made in 2006, with the owners receiving $1 billion out of the $9 billion total revenue.  That bargaining agreement expired and now the two sides have to reach a new agreement.  The problem?  The owners now want $2.4 billion instead of just the $1 billion due to the economic recession and the player’s association doesn’t want to give that up.  If they can’t agree, which they havent thus far after having been negotiating since just after the Super Bowl, then there probably won’t be an NFL season.

In viewing the dispute, I couldn’t help but notice how this relates to the Marxist ideals of the proletariats (the owners) and the bourgeoisie (the players).  Marx believes that the distinction between the ruling class (owners) and the working class (players) will eventually lead to either “…a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes” (Communist Manifesto, 1848).  This means that the working class is a much larger population that labors for the ruling class and that this disparity will eventually lead to a revolution of the working class to defunct the ruling class.  In relation to the NFL dispute, this quote holds true.  The owners are trying to secure more wealth for themselves through the labor of the players, but the players know that the owners need them as much as they need the owners, wherein the revolution lies.  The player’s association not agreeing to the terms of the owners will either, like Marx says, reconstitute the way in which the revenue is distributed or institute a lock out, which is “…ruining the contending class (owners)”.

From the outside, it just seems like the owners are being stuck-up, extremely wealthy businessmen that are attempting to make even MORE money.  These guys, for the most part, are all billionaires and the fact that they’re citing an economic recession as the reason why they need more money is blasphemous.  Yes, I understand that owning an NFL is very costly, but when you have a bank account that ends in over 9 zeros, a few hundred million should not be worth risking your company which makes 3x more than that yearly.  What do you guys think?  Are the owners justified in making this claim that they need more money or are the players overreacting and should just be happy they’re getting paid to play their sport?

One Comment
  1. Jacob Saslow permalink
    April 17, 2011 9:00 PM

    Personally, I believe that the owners are being greedy. If you look at the list of owners in the NFL, and then take a glimpse of their assets, you would begin to wonder how they would even spend another 100 million dollars. These owners have yachts, mansions, islands and even run other multi-million dollar corporations (William Ford for example.) On the other hand, the players in the NFL have the shortest average career of any pro sport, and many of them do not live past their 50’s due to injuries sustained as players. These players leave the game with concussions and other injuries that cause them countless dollars in medical expenses. Without the players, there would be no NFL. While yes, no one likes an athlete who demands more money, as they already have the dream job, this same argument can be made even better for the owners. Give the players their money, and let’s play ball!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: