As NFL negotiations drag on, it is safe to say football fans and players alike — and even President Obama — are tiring of the on-going battle between the NFLPA and the League over contracts. Top receiver and Twitter celebrity Chad Ochocinco told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s D. Orlando Ledbetter, when prompted about whether or not he’d like to play for the Falcons, “It’s a lockout, man. I’m riding bulls. I don’t want to talk about football.”
On the Hill, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and such former NFL players as Reps. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., and Jon Runyan, R-N.J. have all met with players to discuss the impact of a lockout on the economy and the overall jobs crisis.
The league spent a whooping $675,000 lobbying Congress in the first Online Blackjack quarter of 2011, including $60,000 paid to Elmendorf Ryan, which is registered to lobby solely on labor issues. The NFLPA also dished out $60,000 to Executive Director DeMaurice Smith’s former firm, Patton Boggs LLP, to petition Congress on antitrust and labor concerns. For the league, this number is up from the $545,000 spent in the first quarter of last year, though the issues petitioned remain unchanged. However, the addition of Elmendorf Ryan seems to have been solely in anticipation of a labor fight, as the firm was not registered to lobby on behalf of the league this time last year. The Players’ Association, on the other hand, spent significantly less in Q1 2011 than reported in the same quarter last year, when Patton Boggs was paid $110,000 to fight for the players’ interests.