The NFL Lockout, Ochocinco, and Greed
While many NFL players are bringing lawsuits in response to the NFL lockout, some others are using the opportunity to pursue their passions. For example, Chad Ochocinco recently tried out for a position with Sporting Kansas City, and was successful in acquiring a spot on the reserve team. For those of you that don’t follow the MLS, Sporting Kansas City is a professional soccer club. That’s right. Ochocinco is currently a professional soccer player.
Ochocinco has accepted that people watch him because it’s entertaining to do so, and has gone out of his way – even in the face of substantial fines – to promote himself. It’s hard not to respect that. And it stands in stark contrast to what’s happening with the rest of the NFL right now.
Sometimes, there are more important things than money. In the 1919 case of Dodge v. Ford Motor Company, the Dodge brothers brought suit against Henry Ford for failing to share Ford’s substantial corporate profits with its shareholders. Ford himself had the crazy idea that, instead of cashing out on the company’s tremendous success, he wanted “to employ still more men, to spread the benefits of this industrial system to the greatest possible number, to help them build up their lives and their homes. To do this we are putting the greatest share of our profits back in the business.” It’s almost as if the NFL and the players’ association read about Henry Ford and thought, “Hey, let’s just do the exact opposite.”
The legal issues associated with the lockout itself are pretty interesting. The anti-trust action, which claims the league colluded to deny players the ability to offer their services, might be history making. But let’s not kid ourselves. Do we really want to see Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady in action in the courtroom? No. Someone is going to have to bite the bullet with the NFL lockout, and it’s just sad that the first party to do so might be the general public.