Thursday, August 24, 2006

When Legal Documents Aren't Binding

If you know me you know that my dislike for Jason Whitlock goes far beyond a simple disagreement in opinions. The fact is I think he really wishes he were white.

Not that being white is bad. He just exudes a general distaste for black athletes that I really despise (just my opinion; but I know I’m right…)

In this piece, he disagrees with Bryant Gumbel's opinion of Gene Upshaw, the NFL Players' Association head. My first thought was, "of course he disagrees with Gumbel, because Upshaw has long been thought of as Tagliabue's pet, and Tagliabue likes to control his league. Besides, Whitlock wishes he were white."

However, Whitlock raises a good point in his argument, which he deserves credit for:

The contracts in Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association are not guaranteed through the collective bargaining agreement. The CBAs in those leagues do not mandate guaranteed contracts.

He is absolutely correct: there is nothing in the collective bargaining agreement in any sport that guarantees a contract. He’s still wrong in his overall argument, but that specific point is indeed correct.

His argument falls short of the truth when he claims that this practice of not fulfilling contracts is proper business procedure.

A contract is a contract, point blank. Unless a player does something outside of the realm of sport that injures him/her (like crash a motorcycle), a team should have to honor the legal terms that both sides agree to. Maybe that will force teams and players to agree to shorter contracts, which is fine. However, as things stand now (in the NFL), players get the shaft. Here’s why:

Say an NFL receiver (we’ll name him Spotless, just for the sake of argument of course…) signs a 5 year, $30 million contract. If, during the third year, he is performing at a lower level than he was playing at when he signed the contract, he is forced to either restructure the terms of his contract or face getting cut by the team. However, if Spotless is playing at a higher level during his third year than he was when he signed the contract, there’s no legal way for him to renegotiate. That's unfair: if you can legally cut me when you no longer need me (and therefore not pay me my money), there should be some form of a legal platform for me to be able to renegotiate my contract when you need me more now than you did when I originally signed.

At least I only disagree with Whitlock’s opinion. The joke about your momma wearing combat boots really took me back to the good ole' days, and he really earned points toward reclaiming his Ghetto Pass by quoting the Ghetto Boys. So I'll lay off of Mr. Whitlock this time...

1 comment:

Brother Spotless said...

Without a legal platform with which to negotiate, the only other way to negotiate is to "holdout," or basically go on strike until his/her demands are met. It rarely works, and when it doesn't, it can lead to this: