clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2011 NFL Draft: Boycott Draft Or Attend 'Players Only' Party?

New, comments

The NFLPA, no longer a union, but rather a trade association has made some noise during the lockout with regards to to the NFL Draft. To start, they made a request that draft prospects boycott the draft. Then on Tuesday, their song changed a bit. Instead of boycotting the draft, they should attend what the players are organizing. they want to put on a "players only" draft ceremony for top prospects and their families.

So what is a draft prospect to do? They do not yet belong to the players association, but they are entering a league that is locking out their employees. Also, they have been playing football for years and have been dreaming about draft night for years and how it will be to go up to the podium, don their new team's hat and shake hands with the commissioner.

Honestly, I think it is quite disingenuous on behalf of the players. They don't even have support from all their players.

One of the reasons the NFLPA gives for the boycott or alternate party is the lockout and the fact that the league wants to cut rookie salaries. Those are perfectly good reasons for draft prospects to be unhappy, especially a guy like Jake Locker who could have been a top pick on the draft last year. However, the NFL did not impose this rookie wage scale. It was agreed to by the NFLPA. To use that as a ploy against the league is to ignore that fact.

On ESPN, Green Bay Packers Nick Collins had this to say, disagreeing with both options:

"Me personally, I would show up. You've been working so hard, being through the Senior Bowl, the Combine, now the next step is getting drafted. And if you're one of those top guys, that's what you're supposed to do. That's something you've been dreaming of and it's about to come true."

Top prospect Patrick Peterson, who could even be the number one selection overall had the same idea:

"I heard about that. No one has contacted me to go to New York or not go to New York. I would like to go if possible. That's what you play football for. That's a big moment to go up there and shake the commissioner's hand and get that jersey and hat. It means a lot. I definitely want to go, and no one has told me not to go. So, we'll see what happens."

We, the fans, want to see the draft. We watch it in droves. More and more tune in to see it. this is why the league moved it to prime time and spread it over three days. To take away the players would be a sign for us to change the station to a baseball game.

I think the NFLPA has stepped out of bounds here. Do you agree? Tell us all why or why not.