The NFL owners and the players are at odds at the moment. Working on a collective bargaining agreement that suddenly became a battle of turned tables in relation to the court of public opinion can do these things. When the owners voted to ratify the agreement, which, without the approval of the NFL players, takes away from the terms "collectively bargained." The owners' move was viewed as a public relations move to put pressure on the players, who have never been the instigators at any point of the NFL's mess, was shrewd and calculated, and based on the initial rejoicing, it seemed to have worked.
And then the players responded with one of the primary tools of news communication in today's world, Twitter. Instead of holding many micro press conferences or calling the local sports radio show, many different players used social media to voice their responses, and although solidarity has been something of an issue, the players have presented something of a united front in response to the subtle pressures of the NFL owners.
While there are many different tweets to sort through, it would easier to simply highlight some of the good ones. Here are few, in a relative time line format. Leading off is Vonnie Holliday of the Washington Redskins. He's been quite prolific on Twitter, addressing fans and the like since the attempted power play by the owners:
Please don't get excited about that press conference. The owners have agreed on a deal we the players have not seen! This is not consistent
Others agreed, even the media:
Owners approved deal UNANIMOUSLY. Then held celebration news conference to push players into PR corner, make them look like greedy bad guys.
Other players spoke out as well:
Starting to hear that the deal is not as sweet as media made it seem... Here we go again
Another player that's been on Twitter a lot since the CBA was "approved" is Donte Stallworth of the Baltimore Ravens. Stallworth comes with something of a history, but his Twitter feed has been quite informative for the past 24 hours or so:
Fans PLEASE understand we received the deal late last night. Stayed up late & up early today reviewing 200+ pages... We are on top of it!!!
Enough of this democrat vs republican - players vs owners crap!! If the deal is straight, we sign and all will be forgiven. Let's hug it out
As for the aforementioned solidarity, Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers chimes in:
Media spin on owners position in this lockout is ridiculous. Believe my colleagues tweets tonight about the events of the last 24 hours
Meanwhile, the new batch of NFL rookies are staying out of it:
#changingthechannel I will believe it when I get the callThis is a soap opera...
However, the most funny, if not outright true comment might have come from Darnell Dockett of the Arizona Cardinals. Dockett's Twitter use is always worth checking out, if only to see where he went with the subject at hand. Concerning the collective bargaining agreement, Dockett did not disappoint:
It's funny because it's true. These are just some of the examples of the fun being had across Twitter as NFL players are responding en masse to the various demands and requests by the NFL owners group. Some pride is involved, as undoubtedly is some gamesmanship. Ultimately, the deal will be done and football will return. We just have to be willing to sit through this silly back and forth.
Meanwhile, running back Arian Foster has the right idea:
One wonders if the NFL would just accept this and move on.