Time to bone up on NFL labor trouble

February, 3, 2010
2/03/10
6:47
PM ET
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- For those who've been meaning to educate themselves about the NFL's upcoming labor battle but haven't had the stomach for it, now is the time to pop a couple Tums, take a deep breath and relent.

With the Super Bowl a few days away and an uncapped season seemingly unavoidable, you should take a look at the primer I wrote for ESPN.com this week.

The piece breaks down the key issues you need to know about in digestible portions -- or at least as digestible as you can hope when reading about economics and labor law.

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith was a guest on Wednesday's edition of "Mike and Mike in the Morning." Smith said the biggest hurdle from his vantage point is a lack of comprehension for why the owners expect a larger share of the money.

Players and fans "see monumental growth," Smith said. "We've seen no evidence that anybody is losing money. Nobody is off one percent of their profits. It's an easy job if somebody comes to me and says 'De, we're off profits five percent, six percent, seven percent, 18 percent. It's very difficult to sell to a player in a locker room 'You have to take a $340,000 pay cut. The owners want a $1 billion raise,' and not have players go 'Why?'

"If you guys are losing money or if profits are squeezed, tell me and let's get this thing over with tomorrow."

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