ARLINGTON TX - FEBRUARY 06: Charles Woodson #21 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates in the locker room with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XLV 31-25 against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium on February 6 2011 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
I've got my own personal opinions about the battle between the unions and the Governor going on in Wisconsin. But this isn't a political blog. I'm sure you can easily find hundreds of other blogs discussing this story in detail. Here's the complete statement from Green Bay Packers CB Charles Woodson as released through the NFL Players Association.
I spent a lot of time reading many blogs to find out if the union battle in Wisconsin has a direct relationship on the current labor negotiations in the NFL. And I couldn't find a direct relationship, in the short-term. The labor battle in Wisconsin shouldn't effect the current negotiations with the NFL this week.
In the long-term, unions have concerns about their continued existence. I don't have a crystal ball, so I don't know if these future concerns have merit. But Mike Freeman at CBSSports.com has a solid column about what these concerns are:
By all accounts, the power of unions -- their future, potentially their very existence -- could be determined by what's happening across the country now and in the coming months. The NFL is in a protracted battle with its union. The NBA will be. The NHL and MLB unions are weaker than ever before...
This is why Wisconsin is so important to the players association. Wisconsin in many ways is the Tunisia of the U.S. labor protests, and athletes are getting involved. It won't just be Woodson. You could soon hear other high profile NFL players from all over the country back Wisconsin. Woodson opened the door. More might follow.
None of this is to say that a rich athlete deserves the same kind of sympathy or support as a teacher making $30,000 a year. Yet the collective bargaining process is where the wealthy player and the nurse share a common bond.
Collective bargaining is what has made athletes super rich and the middle class super secure.