Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rhetoric in MLS Labor Strife Heats Up: Owners Piss Themselves

The war of rhetoric continued to heat up today just 5 days short of the strike deadline, with MLS owners rattling their sabers, putting lifts in their shoes, and fluffing up the comb-overs on their puny, greedy heads.

"I just hope the players understand the implication of the threats they're making to strike because if they do in fact go on strike, then that forces the owners to do something very aggressive and very different," Real Salt Lake owner Dave Checketts told the Desert News.

Having been exposed in the national soccer community as frauds, the owners clearly have calculated that fear-mongering  is the only tool available to them in their quest to force the players into submitting to another collective bargaining agreement that holds the latter as indentured servants.

"I've always said that 'MLS' stands for Major League Slavery," said World Football Daily's Steven Cohen.

Just picture Checketts stuttering, sweating and blinking rapidly as he says the following: "I just came from a meeting with several owners and the commissioner down here in Los Angeles, and we know exactly what we'll do. These are all owners who've been in the NBA, they've been in the NHL, some of them own Major League Baseball teams even today. We know what we'll do. We have a plan if the players strike."

If that "plan" involves bringing in scabs to play "games" owners think "fans" will pay money to watch, then they are higher than a Blues Traveler fan at Bonarroo.

Lest you conclude that Checketts is a lone voice crying out in the wilderness, witness Seattle Sounders Kingpin Joe Roth's hysterical statement to the Seattle Times: “From an entertainment standpoint, we haven’t made enough of an imprint on the national psyche," he said as he pissed himself. "I don’t think there will be a national outcry like with the NFL if somehow we wouldn’t be out there for a year – which would be terrible. Everyone would lose their jobs. We would all lose our franchises. And that would be that."

But as LA Galaxy, Everton and USMNT star Landon Donovan pointed out this week to ESPN, the players are not trying to destroy the economics of the league.  Said Donovan: "I think we've made it clear from the beginning that we're not into the idea of bankrupting the league and asking for tons of monetary increases. We just want basic rights other players around the world get."

"There are realities to the business that we're in and unfortunately for too long the business has been one-sided," Donovan continued. "We need basic rights if we're going to continue playing. We want rights that are afforded to other players in other countries around the world that we don't have here."

From the earliest days of the labor movement, the first tactic owners consistently have employed is fear. Early 20th-century coal operators smeared strikers with accusations that foreign communists were behind their efforts to achieve fair wages and working conditions, using words like "insurrection" and "Bolshevik revolution" to describe strike threats. Oftentimes, physical violence accompanied the heated rhetoric. Today, MLS owners have only words as empty as their stadiums will be if they try to stage scab matches.

As Jimmy Reed said: "Big boss man, can't you hear me when I call? Big boss man, you ain't so big, you just talk, and that's all."

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