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“Let Us Play” Lets down the NFLPA

“Let Us Play” Lets down the NFLPA

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Chris Lund
Chris is Sports Enthusiast and Blogger 

Earlier this year, the Piehead blog shared an article about the NFLPA’s “Let Us Play” campaign, an outcry of public opinion in favor of the impending NFL lockout. At that time, the potential impact of the campaign was speculative.  Lab42 did their homework and found out what fans actually think of the NFL’s labor situation via social media channels.

The results are both interesting and not what the NFLPA had hoped when they kicked off their online campaign.  The rationale for the campaign was to have fans who understand the reasons for the lockout respond to their survey and compile the results accordingly. From there, things get really interesting. First off, almost 50% of the men who responded to this survey don’t think that there will be a lockout whereas only 35% of women felt the same way. However, these are not the results that indicate “Let Us Play” was a failure.

While the “Let Us Play” campaign placed the blame of the lockout squarely on the shoulders of ownership Lab42′s results show that 58% of fans think that the players and owners are equally to blame. 63% of people have had no change in their opinions regarding the owners or players, while only 9% have had their opinion change for the better. Similarly, 51% of those surveyed said that the current biggest problem in the NFL is that players make too much money. Only 44% thought that the safety of current players and benefits for retired players were a bigger issue.

One survey response published by Lab42 states: “I think it’s greedy and irresponsible for multi-millionaires to be arguing with other multi-millionaires about money.” We were almost prophetic in our initial blog about the “Let Us Play” campaign given that we observed, “How effective will this campaign be when a large number of fans see this as a spat between billionaires and millionaires?” The primary failure of “Let Us Play” was that it did not connect to the fan base properly. Instead of appealing for sympathy from fans the players would have been better off arguing publicly for their safety and pensions as a larger number of fans would have understood that struggle given that many deal with that on a daily basis. Simply saying you want your boss to let you go to work doesn’t cut it since the demographic you’re appealing to wishes they could have your job, your salary, and wishes you would stop complaining. This disconnect between fan and player is why over half of the fan base thinks players make too much money, and is ultimately why “Let Us Play” failed completely.

The people have spoken yet again via social networks.  Your turn.  What say you about the campaign?