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Marvin Miller – NFLPA Should Go on the Offense

Marvin Miller says the National Football League’s union needs to play more offense. The 93-year-old Miller, who from 1966 to 1982 led baseball players through three strikes and two lockouts as their salaries rose 12-fold, said the NFL Players Association needs to stop placating owners. The union should march into the NFL’s Park Avenue offices in New York and demand concessions, including an end to the league’s pay ceiling, as part of talks on a new labor deal. “I would go on the offensive,” Miller said in a telephone interview from his apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

“I would demand the end of the salary cap now and in the future and go from there. You’ve got to show the owners you mean it. I’d follow it immediately with a series of meetings with players to work out their demands for changes in their contracts. And I’d serve them to the owners. I’d show them you’re not kidding.” Owners in the U.S.’s most-watched television sport voted in 2008 to opt out of the labor deal with players this year, saying it didn’t account for costs such as building stadiums. Other issues include what share of revenue players should get, expanding the season to 18 games from 16, a rookie pay cap and health care.

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