Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wizards Players Speak on CBA

The more news I read about the current collective bargaining agreement discussions between the league and players, the more I worry that we're going to see some sort of work stoppage whether it be a strike or a lock out. Earlier this past week, two Wizards players spoke about the negotiations, Jimmy Conrad, the Wizards player representative, and Kevin Hartman, who was in on some meetings during the all star break, both spoke with the San Jose Mercury News about the current CBA situation. Neither one's comments can fill you with optimism about the negotiations. Conrad talks about the league putting pressure on the players to "agree to some terms we don't want to agree to." The wording of his quote makes it sound like the two groups are still far apart in their negotiations and that there's plenty still left to discuss. Conrad mentions that if there is a work stoppage it seems more likely to be a lockout by the owners instead of a strike because it would apparently be in the owners best interest over a strike. As for Hartman, he puts out the regular line that the players don't want a work stoppage, but they want changes made that will continue to see growth.

As I said, not the most encouraging news coming from Conrad and Hartman about the current state of negotiations. While I understand why the players want the things they are fighting for, the distance apart the two sides seem to be is disturbing. I hope something can be worked out, as I think any work stoppage would be a killer for the sport in the US, especially in a World Cup year. The other day, I had this open letter from the Toronto Sun pointed out to me, and it does a good job I think of addressing some fans concerns.

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