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There have been rumblings throughout the football world that the NFLPA, which is currently decertified, is trying to convince the top draft prospects to boycott the NFL draft.
This is a horrible idea for the players and it jeopardizes the support of fans. If the union goes through with this ploy the only people it affects are the fans, the draft prospects, and their families. The NFL will not be hit hard, and the ratings won’t go down simply because there aren’t players on the stage when their names are announced.
The NFL won’t bat an eye, and the fans who watch on TV only care about whom they drafted, not watching them shake Roger Goodell’s hand on stage. Fans that actually attend the draft might be let down a little bit but so what? They won’t get the opportunity to boo or cheer a selection. I’ll bet Donovan McNabb had wished he wasn’t at the draft when he got selected.
The most messed up thing about this whole idea is stripping these prospects and their families of a moment of celebration. These athletes have worked their entire lives to make their dreams of playing in the NFL a reality. These parents and families have made a ton of sacrifices to give their kids the opportunities to succeed. They had to drive their kids to practices, wash dirty uniforms, and pay for new equipment, all in an effort to support their sons’ dreams. Would you really want to take this moment away to try to make a point to the NFL?
The fans have been firmly behind the union up to this point, condemning the greed of the owners, and their unwillingness to share money with the players, or worry about their futures. The regular Joe can’t identify with the dollar figures being thrown around, but he can identify with safety, with commitment, and to having a pension. Political moves like this just don’t sit well and ignite feelings of anger and pettiness.
The NFLPA needs to use another outlet to show the owners they mean business. There has been talk that there will be a rally of players in New York City on the night of the draft that will look very much like a strike. It’s hard to picture millionaires on the corner, picketing against billionaires but this could become a reality. Just don’t mess with these prospects, their dreams, and their moment in the sun. It’s just not the right thing to do.