A strange thing is happening to the most management-dominated sports league in the U.S. The players are taking over.
It's happening on the field and off, in locker rooms and in grievance hearings, and it undoubtedly happened during the 2011 lockout, when the players stood their ground during a labor standoff that threatened to break the National Football League Players Association. The NFLPA had long been a poor cousin compared with baseball's and basketball's unions.
The turning point was probably in July of that year, when NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith told league officials the players union had a $350 million insurance policy the players would collect if the lockout caused the cancellation of the season. Within weeks, the two sides had a deal and the lockout ended without the loss of any games.
"We've had so many victories," said Domonique Foxworth, president of the NFLPA. "It's created this glut of momentum on our side."