Breaking Sports

Sunday, July 10, 2005

nhl- No need to Apologize

from Larry Brooks and the NY Post (reg. req.), Let's get this straight. The players owe no one an apology for fighting the good fight they did last season against submitting to a salary cap system that, in both the short and long runs, will provide windfall profits to NHL owners but will prove ruinous to the game as we have always known it.
Understand this once and for all: The owners and the NHL's ruling body could not have cared less if the league reopened for business in 2005-06 or ever again. They made it clear over and over and over again they would have incinerated the village in order to fatten their own fancy portfolios.
The league is operating for one reason only — because the players came to the conclusion the only way they'd get back onto the NHL ice would be by swallowing the league's poison pills and negotiating a surrender. There's plenty of reason to question the PA's strategy in light of the union's stinging defeat at the table, but no reason whatsoever to question the players' good faith and motives; no cause to question their love of the game and of its culture.
Yes, of course, when the owners' lockout finally ends, players should say they're sorry for the loss of last season, should say they're sorry for having been part of one of the sorriest episodes in the history of pro sports. But they should not apologize. They did nothing wrong. They did not create the cancellation.
For over a year, the NHL conducted a PR war against the players, using websites to cast these athletes as greedy villains in an attempt to rally the fans against the very performers they root for, and whose jerseys the customers pay exorbitant sums to purchase.
And now the players should be expected to apologize for being butt-ended in the teeth?
The fans who blame and even now hate the players — if you check out some of the swill posted on internet message boards, you wonder if these people despise these players so much, why they'd even bother to watch the games, unless, they're simply cheering for the laundry — won't be swayed by apologies. They'll simply want to know why they didn't apologize sooner. They'll simply demand to know why they didn't surrender last year....more...