CNBC News Releases

Breaking News from CNBC's Scott Wapner: NFL, Union at Odds over Money - Source

WHEN: TODAY, WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2020

WHERE: CNBC'S "CLOSING BELL"

Following is the unofficial transcript of breaking news from CNBC's Scott Wapner today on CNBC's "Closing Bell."  Following is link to video on CNBC.com: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2020/07/22/nfl-union-are-at-odds-over-paying-players-for-entire-season-source.html.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

SCOTT WAPNER: THIS IS THE LATEST IN THE NEGOTIATIONS TAKING PLACE  BETWEEN THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL  LEAGUE AND ITS PLAYERS UNION OVER THE 2020 SEASON AND AN ISSUE THREATENING THE SEASON AT THIS POINT CERTAINLY IF THEY CAN'T GET IT RESOLVED. ACCORDING TO A SOURCE WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE NEGOTIATIONS, THE NFL AND ITS PLAYERS UNION REMAIN AT SIGNIFICANT ODDS OVER  MONEY AS THEY TRY TO WORK THROUGH WHAT IS DESCRIBED TO ME AS THE LAST AND IT IS ARGUABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT REMAINING ISSUE FOR THE GAME'S RETURN, NAMELY  I'M TOLD THAT THE UNION IS DEMANDING THAT ITS PLAYERS BE  PAID FOR THE ENTIRE 2020 SEASON REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY GAMES ARE PLAYED IN OTHER WORDS, IF YOU START THE SEASON AND THEN IT CAN'T BE FINISHED, IF IT HAS TO BE ABBREVIATED BECAUSE OF ANOTHER OUTBREAK WITH COVID OR WHAT HAVE YOU, THE PLAYERS STILL WANT THEIR FULL SALARIES. THEY NEGOTIATED AGAIN TODAY. THAT ENDED WITHOUT A DEAL. THE SOURCE DESCRIBES THE LEAGUE TO ME AS BEING TAKEN ABACK BY THIS STANCE FROM THE UNION GIVEN THAT EVEN THE BASEBALL PLAYERS UNION ULTIMATELY AGREED TO PRORATED SALARIES. AND AGAIN DESCRIBED TO ME AS THE ONLY REMAINING ISSUE BETWEEN THE TWO SIDES AFTER THEY AGREED ON ALL OF THE OTHER SIGNIFICANT HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUES INCLUDING NO PRESEASON GAMES, DAILY TESTING FOR COVID-19 AND OPT OUT WHERE PLAYERS COULD DECIDE NOT TO PLAY BASED ON THEIR VIRUS CONCERNS AND THEN WHAT IS BEING CALLED AN EXPANDED ACCLIMATION PERIOD WITH NO PAD PRACTICES FOR 18 DAY WHICH PLAYERS WANTED AS WELL. AND THE SOURCE AGAIN SAYING THAT IT IS LITERALLY THE ONLY ISSUE NOW STANDING IN THE WAY OF THE SEASON TAKING PLACE, PLAYERS ARE STARTING TO REPORT TO THEIR TRAINING CAMPS, ALL PLAYERS ARE  SCHEDULED TO REPORT ON JULY 28th, WHICH MEANS THAT THERE IS LITTLE TIME TO COME TO AN AGREEMENT ON THIS LAST BUT POTENTIALLY MOST SIGNIFICANT ISSUE OF ALL AND IT WAS DESCRIBED TO ME AS A  BINARY ISSUE RIGHT NOW THEY CANNOT COME TO A DEAL OVER  PLAYERS' SALARIES.

SARA EISEN: SO I GUESS THE QUESTION IS WHAT HAPPENS NOW THEY HAVE, WHAT, LESS THAN TWO MONTHS UNTIL THE SEASON IS SET TO BEGIN DOES IT MEAN WE COULD HAVE A FALL WITHOUT FOOTBALL SEASON OR DO YOU EXPECT THESE NEGOTIATIONS TO CONTINUE AS WE SAW IN BASEBALL AND EVENTUALLY FOR THEM TO WORK SOMETHING OUT?

WAPNER: CERTAINLY FOOTBALL FANS CAN HOPE THAT THEY COME TO AN AGREEMENT, BUT RIGHT NOW I'M TOLD THAT THEY ARE FAR APART AND YOU DON'T EVEN LOOK TWO MONTHS DOWN THE ROAD, LOOK A WEEK DOWN THE ROAD WHERE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE TEAMS STARTING TO REPORT. REMEMBER, THEY CAN'T SHOW UP AT  THE LAST MINUTE AND THEN START PLAYING GAMES IN THE FALL ESPECIALLY FOR FOOTBALL PLAYERS THAT HAVE BEEN OUT OF PRACTICE FOR AS LONG AS THEY HAVE BEEN. THE NEGOTIATIONS WILL CONTINUE DAILY, THEY MAY EVEN TALK AGAIN TODAY FOR ALL I KNOW IT WAS DESCRIBED TO ME AS SORT OF ONGOING BUT IF YOU AGREE TO ALL OF THE HEALTH AND  AND SAFETY ISSUES, AND A NUMBER OF STAR PLAYERS SPOKE OUT ON THE FACT THAT THERE WAS NO DEAL, AND MAYBE THAT PUSHED THE  TWO SIDES TO COME TOGETHER WITH THIS THE LAST AND HARD TO SAY THAT MONEY IS NOT THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ISSUE AT ALL, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT THE KIND OF SEASON THAT WE MAY HAVE THEY DON'T GET THIS DONE, WE MAY NOT BE WATCHING FOOTBALL IN THE FALL.

WILFRED FROST: SCOTT, PRESUMABLY REVENUES FOR THE TEAMS AND THE LEAGUE AS A WHOLE WILL BE DOWN SIGNIFICANTLY AND THE PLAYERS DON'T FEEL THEY SHOULD TAKE ANY PART OF THAT, NOT LEAST WHEN ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN OTHER INDUSTRIES PEOPLE ARE NOT JUST TAKING PAY CUTS BUT LOSING THEIR JOBS FOR MUCH, MUCH LOWER STARTING SALARIES?

WAPNER: IT IS FUNNY THAT YOU BRING THAT UP. BECAUSE THAT IS SORT OF THE WAY THAT THIS WAS DESCRIBED TO ME FROM MY SOURCE WHO HAS KNOWLEDGE OF THE WAY THAT THESE NEGOTIATIONS ARE TAKING PLACE  AND WHY I SAID THAT THE LEAGUE SEEMS TO BE TAKEN ABACK BY THE STANCE FROM THE UNION IN THAT ALL THE OTHER INDUSTRIES THAT WE HAVE BEEN REPORTING ON AND FOLLOWING EVERY DAY AS LONG AS THIS PANDEMIC HAS BEEN GOING TO HAVE BEEN FORCED TO MAKE SACRIFICES AND AT LEAST TO THIS POINT, THE  PLAYERS UNION APPEARS UNWILLING TO DO SO NOW, THAT COULD CHANGE IN A MINUTE THEY COULD BE HAVING OTHER TALKS AS WE'RE HAVING THESE CONVERSATIONS RIGHT NOW. BUT AT LEAST TO THIS POINT, THE PLAYERS ARE DEMANDING THAT THEY GET PAID IN FULL.


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