Dave Zirin on MSNBC: “The number one problem is the books are closed”

October 26th, 2010

Dave Zirin, a sports writer and the host of Sirius XM satellite’s Edge of Sports Radio, appeared on MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show to discuss how team owners, specifically in the NFL, are ruining the game for both players and the fans.

 Zirin addressed a variety of topics, including the impact of the owners’ opaque business practices while expressing his concern for the league’s handling of player safety and disregard for former players’ health care. 

 Ratigan got the discussion started by saying, “Owners want a billion-dollar cut in player compensation in part to offset costs of new mega stadiums like the new $1.6 billion dollar New Meadowlands stadium.”

 What the owners aren’t saying is that players already have contributed to stadium costs through the G-3 program. With $960 million of the players’ money directed to the New Meadowlands stadium alone, it’s understandable why the players would have a hard time accepting salary cuts without more information.

 Zirin cited the number one problem dividing team owners and players is the NFL’s refusal to open its books.

 “How more opaque can you get then them (owners) saying we’re losing money but we’re just not going to show you the books,” noted Zirin. “Take our word for it and even though your average playing career is three-and-a-half years and you die two decades before the typical American male, trust us.”

 Zirin also pointed out the fact that NFL owners will still make billions even if there is no football played next year. Combined with the savings from not having to pay player costs, team owners clearly are willing and able to ride out the storm of a lockout in 2011.

 To view the video, click HERE or below.

2 Responses to “Dave Zirin on MSNBC: “The number one problem is the books are closed””

  1. Jeremiah Says:

    I don’t think I can name a private business that is required to open its books for employees of that business, let alone open them to the general public. The only team that should be required to open its books should be the publicly-owned Packers, and I believe they have.

    I want football next season as much as the next person, but something everyone has to realize is that these are still businesses, and while they are not traditional businesses, the owners have rights, as well.

  2. Scott Says:

    Hey Jeremiah, the owners certainly have the right to keep their books closed, but they can’t really expect the players and public to take their word when they claim to be losing money. If you want us to believe you, show us the proof.

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