as i mentioned in the previous post, there are several high profile players holding out of their respective nfl training camps in hopes of a better contract. one of those players that was holding out was javon walker of the green bay packers. apparently, however, he's reported to camp and though not happy with his contract, seems ready to get the season going. none of this is really interesting to me. what is interesting is that at a recent shareholders meeting for the green bay packers, all of the shareholders supported not renegotiating walker's salary. for those of you who don't know, green bay is the only publicly owned NFL team. i think technically it's owned by the city of green bay, but they have this goofy thing where joe fan can purchase a share, like a piece of stock, and then claim part ownership of the packers. of course, no real ownership rights are given to you as a fan, but the franchise indulges you once a year with a faux-stockholder meeting. yeah it's pretty stupid, but so is wisconsin.
anyways, let's pretend that we're stockholders in a regular company, and one of our vice presidents is asking for a raise. this vice president had an incredible year last year. he accounted for over 20% of your net profits. this vice president also has accounted for over 16% of the profits realized from a market that is recognized as the most important market by the industry. this person is also very young and has a lot of potential to continue to keep contributing in this manner. sure, your company didn't beat all of the competitors, but overall, it was a pretty successful year. wouldn't you want to keep this person happy at all costs?
well that's basically what the scenario is with walker, who accounted for 21% of the packers' total yards and 16% of their touchdowns. and yet, none of the "stockholders" think he should make any more money. imagine if i went to a microsoft stockholders meeting and said, "you know, i know because of bill gates we have a virtually monopoly on the OS market, but i just don't think he she be given a raise. if he wants to go to another company, then fine, let him go." doesn't make a whole lot of sense does it? what makes even more bizarre is that these fans don't really have any real stake other than their rooting interests. the way i see it, i would want my owners to pay whatever it takes to keep my best players here.
of course inevitably, i have to ask if these people would be saying the same thing if brett favre, the great whitey hope, were asking for a raise. we would never know, but i just wonder if white athletes who hold out get villified in the same way as black athletes who holdout. for example, philip rivers held out of camp, and i don't remember chargers' fan saying that they should just let philip rivers sit out his whole career.
of course, this kind of analysis only makes sense if white and black athletes were as equally likely to hold out, and i'm not sure that's the case. from my own (admittedly poor) memory, i think that there are a lot more black athletes who hold out (not including draft picks, which is just a whole other animal). in any case, if this is true, then that can mean one of two things. 1) black athletes are more likely to demand higher compensation, or 2) black athletes are more likely to have contracts that do not reflect true market value. and since the first supposition is somewhat racist, i'm going to go with number 2. not go number 2 mind you, go with number 2 (heehee!). anyways, the concept of fair market value is obviously an extremely subjective one, but we've seen this in the regular workplace, people of color not getting equal pay for equal work. why do we think it would be different in the world of sports?
you guys don't deserve someone as good as javon walker.