What do you think about the union strategy of attempting to communicate its position to the public through the use of television media? If permitted, would the strategy likely be successful from the union’s point of view?
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I believe that you are referring to a labor relations discussion of the NFL Players’ Association’s (NFLPA) effort in 2011 to have an ad run before the Super Bowl. The CBS network refused to air the ad, which many attributed to the fact that CBS did not want to antagonize the NFL.
I do not believe that the ad, had it run, would have been effective for the union. In fact, I imagine that it was probably more helpful for the union that CBS refused to run the ad. You might think that the ad would be beneficial to the union. After all, they made the ad and presumably thought it would help sway public opinion. However, I do not think that it would have helped much. The public is inclined to think of professional athletes as spoiled. The public tends to think that they are paid exorbitant amounts of money to play a game that many among the public wish they were able to play for a living. When labor disputes arise, the public is rarely on the side of the players. Because of this, I do not think that the ad would have done much good.
Because the ad wouldn’t have done much good, the owners should have just let it air. They shouldn’t have done anything to respond. A response would only have served to call more attention to the ad. As it was, CBS’s ban of the ad probably helped the union and hurt the owners because it allowed the ad to get more publicity and, more importantly, because it made the owners look like they were strongarming CBS.
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