Get used to more labor talk moving forward.
Kansas City Chiefs G Brian Waters is a member of the NFLPA's executive committee and spent a couple of minutes on Thursday talking about the current labor situation with the news that the Chiefs players had voted to decertify from the union if necessary.
We'll start with what Waters wants fans to know from a players perspective.
"What I really want the fans to know is we didn't ask for this. What it all comes down to, for us as players, we agreed to a deal and we stuck to the deal. We weren't the ones that decided to shorten the deal. we're not the ones that are unhappy with the deal. If it were up to us, we'd play football the way it is."
The "deal" was the CBA extension in 2006. The NFL owners voted two years later to opt out of that deal, which ends next year.
"If those doors are open in March, April, July and August, we will be playing football," Waters said. "The only way we won't be playing is if they lock us out."
Using the word "lockout" instead of work stoppage is all part of the union's overall message that they're not the ones ending football. If you read any comments from the player side, they will likely remind you that they want to continue with the status quo. I think that's one of their big selling points because I think most fans would say they like the way the league is right now. The "Don't fix it if it ain't broke" mentality applies here.
What seems to be one of the possible scenarios is the union disbanding and then suing the league. That's why you're hearing teams (like the Chiefs) vote to give the union the authority to decertify.
"We, as a union ,have a contract with the owners," Waters continued. "If we are no longer a union and then the owners decide to lock is out, they'll be breaking certain anti-trust laws and we'll be able to sue them under those anti-trust laws."
It's gotta be an interesting dynamic in the Chiefs locker room. On the one hand you've got Waters and LB Mike Vrabel, both on the NFLPA executive committee. Clearly they're influential members of the NFLPA. On the other hand, they're going to work everyday for the Chiefs, one of the very NFL teams they're going up against in the current labor situation.
Audio via What's Wright 610 Sports