Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Fans Never Counted In NFL Labor Negotiations

Minutes after the players agreed to the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement today, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft stepped up to the microphone and told fans he was sorry.

It's a great gesture and it might be true for Kraft, but it isn't true of the owners and players collectively.


Because the fans never counted in this labor negotiation. With 71 percent of Americans over the age of 21 fans of the NFL, public sentiment didn't factor in here. It would take more than a season missed for fans not to return in the droves they will. And Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith knew that.

Attendance won't be down more than 1 percent and fans will buy just as much beer and food at the games. The NFL simply didn't need to consider the fan.

If it makes you feel badly, I get it. You like to feel like you are counted. But it's not the reality. Want to feel like you mean something. NBA fans will get a chance during the negotiations between the owners and players. Since the sport is not on the same solid ground as the NFL, the feeling that fans are leaving the sport could put pressure on both sides to do a deal.

Questions? Comments?