a very recently good afternoon everyone appreciate you joining during lunch time I promise we'll make it worth your while with a very special and very unique panel hello welcome to 2018 MIT Sloan Sports analytics conference and welcome to the Bill James room sponsored by the Action Network my name is Caleb goo lusus I'm a first year MBA student at MIT Sloan today's panel is called playing for the players the future of player advocacy joining us on the panel it's gonna be Jim Tanner founder and president of tandem sports entertainment and renowned sports agent we've also got Dominique Foxworth writer the undefeated ESPN personality and former president of the NFLPA Michele Roberts executive director of the NBPA and Don fair exective director the NHLPA moderating the discussion is going to be Professor Deepak Malhotra who is the Eli Golson professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School you guys probably know the drill by now but panel will last about 40 minutes about five minutes for questions please join in for questions by tweeting your questions using the panel hashtag which will be hashtag represent and with that over to you all right well thank you Caleb for the introduction and also for setting up the panel and doing all the work that you did it's it's been really helpful and fantastic and hopefully we'll be able to do a good job with what you've set up I just want to make one comment before I ask the first question which is as you've probably already noticed that one thing that makes this panel distinct is that every voice on the stage is from the player's perspective this is a player's advocacy panel and so the folks that are here advocate for players and that is of course by design and that is actually the strength of the panel but it's also potentially a limitation because we're not always going to be hearing the voice from the other side of the table so the hope is that as we go through this discussion we'll be able to leverage that strength and the experience and the expertise and the insights of these folks who have just done some great work in their careers on behalf of players but also be mindful of that limitation as we think about how to take these ideas out of the room so with that I'm gonna start out by asking a question to Michelle you know the the Players Association the NBA players this is not a monolithic entity it is not that you represent players in their all the same they have different interests they have different needs they have different perspectives and the question is how do we balance those different needs in a situation where often the loudest voices are those of the most popular players if you look at the Players Association you have people like Chris Paul and LeBron James at the table and you know there's an old adage in the world of diplomacy and negotiations if you're not at the table you're on the menu and so the question is is that dynamic in play when these negotiations take place or do you find ways of making sure that you represent all the players even the ones who have less of a voice yeah you're right I mean I don't have a monolithic membership and frankly including as many different players with different interests as possible as intentional and I deliberately go out of my way my team does to make sure that when the decision-making body is formulated and meets that we do have representation from all my words walks of life and so sure we have LeBron and we have CP but we also have other players at the end of the bench who are thoroughly engaged in the management of the union as possible Inc to include rookies and our very large international population the other thing I'd say is that and this is a blessing I do have quote unquote marquee players who are not selfish men I mean they are very very attuned to the fact that they despite their individual success it would not be but for the support that they received from their teammates so even as we engage in discussions or engaged in the CBA discussions the question was not simply what's best in the best interest of the marquee players or what's in the best interest of the veterans but we were always and thank God these men were always mindful of the balance of the membership so again I'm blessed in that regard but to the extent I've got to do some aggressive work to make sure that people feel included sure we make sure we do that Dominique when when you were in the NFL in the Players Association did you have that kind of a dynamic or was everybody basically pulling in the same direction no it's quite a few more players I actually think the disparity between the I guess life of a player in the NBA from from the top to the bottom is probably larger than it is for the NFL player butters 1,800 players with divergent opinions and ideas and motivations and particularly the group of quarterbacks often in the past and like Michelle in recent history we've had some unselfish quarterbacks and they're the top of the organization but in the past of quarterbacks kind of felt like they were separate and trying to bridge that gap was always a challenge but the one thing that I struggle with when I was a leader there and and when I worked with Michelle it was something that was I was aware of is and it goes back to the point you started this with is the people who aren't in the room it's hard to have a voice for them in particular in football it's the rookies or the soon-to-be rookies and I mean there are plenty of people who aren't in the room who do not get a voice but it's hard when you're in a room trying to figure out how and where you're going to compromise it's hard not to end up making the compromises around those people who don't have a voice which I know one-and-done rule is something that will be up in the NBA soon so that I mean that stuff like that is commendable from my perspective yeah and I haven't looked at the most recent CBA and the NHL but certainly when you look at what happened in the mid 90s and then in 2005 you see some of that dynamic even in the National Hockey League it seems that when push comes to shove and concessions need to be made often the first sacrifice that's made on the altar of negotiation is rookies because as you said the dynamic is such that they're not always there and maybe that's changing and maybe it is sometimes possible to lift all boats but that seems to sometimes take place have you experienced that in your time in the NHL I don't think I share your perspective as to how these things are done and if you'll permit me a digression I want to tell you what my job is and what Michelle's job is unions are first last and always political organizations in any union anyway of any size you have differences of the members some are older some are younger some are paid more they're in different jobs there's always arguments about routes of progression to different jobs retirement healthcare and all the rest of it the job is to get the players together educate them and say okay talk out argue out do whatever you have to do to come to a consensus because that's what we need to go to the owners about that's what the job is you can hire everything else you can't do that you can't do the job so when you come to to the bargaining in my experience both in in baseball where I was for a long time and and and in hockey now there is a tendency sometimes to look at rookies but it's not looking at rookies or young players as somehow they're to be discriminated against it it reflects a you got to prove yourself first you got to prove you belong in this locker room first second thing is they have a longer career and so in baseball and in hockey now what we basically have is a philosophy which is equal opportunity you have the same opportunities in your career based on length of service that everybody else does so to say a rookie doesn't get paid as much as a 30 year old Superstar may be accurate but he hasn't done those things yet last thing I'll say is this players have lots of differences as Michelle mentioned and Dominique mentioned but what they share in common in my experience Dwarfs those differences every superstar knows he was a rookie once Jim you negotiate on behalf of players in a different environment you're not sitting across from the league and negotiating a CBA you're not representing an entire class of players you're dealing often with one individual player with one individual team we see what happens when it gets written up what the contract was at the end of the day but a lot of stuff we don't get to find out about is what happens behind the scenes in your experience advocating on behalf of players in these negotiations what are some of the things that players might do other than playing well back in may courage easier and one of the things that might do that make it harder but you know I think well you can't discount playing well I think that's that's gonna dictate what they're gonna be paid so I'd say like 95% of the negotiations about their performance on the court or on the field or on the ice things that they can do beyond that though is just work in partnership with the team and with with the league and what I mean by that is you know making sure that they're doing everything they can to prepare themselves to be ready to go to to get there early to leave late to take care of their bodies things like that make my job easier because it makes their performance better beyond that it's very helpful and again on the margins because again what they do on the court is gonna be the most important thing but on the margins to the extent that they can be helpful in the community with respect to you know making appearances on behalf of the franchise really considering themselves a face of the franchise in a way where when we get to the bargaining table and we're talking to the front office about their performance on the court and how much that's worth they also have the business side of the franchise talking to the front office and saying how valuable this player is from a community perspective so all those things are very very important but I think the main thing is that the players have to realize they have to make an investment in themselves and they have to do certain things in order to position themselves so it makes my job easier when we go to the bargaining table we have a lot of different leagues represented here but one person in particular has had the same job in two separate leagues so Don you were in the Major League Baseball executive director for The Players Association role now you're in the NHL with the exact same role can help us understand about the differences between the two as far as your job is concerned obviously is gonna be a lot of similarities but what's the difference between advocating for players and baseball versus those in hockey differences are not as great as you would think the economics are similar you can actually describe what we bargain with widgets if you want to the internal politics are similar the nature of the businesses it's an entertainment product is similarly if not close to identical so all that fits the biggest two differences I've noticed are not structural to the organization the first one is that hockey players tend to be younger there are very few 18 and 19 year olds and 20 year olds that come into major league baseball they mostly come in at later ages and they mostly have the minor league experience that's true to an extent in hockey but they come in younger younger translates as people with less experience as a result less wisdom less judgment and you have to adapt your internal communications to that the other thing and this is one I did not anticipate is demographic in baseball the overwhelming majority of players are American and the Latins for the most part are suffused with American culture and have friends and relatives in the States in the NHL 75% of the players are not American it fluctuates a little bit and their general outlook on how you do things how unions operate what you do with a strike or a lockout what the role of the players is is different and so there's an educational component that you have to go through Michelle you recently had a negotiation that was widely considered to be a success by seemingly all observers between you and Adam silver between the Players Association and the league and the NBA if we fast forward a few years to the next CBA let's imagine we're there and there's a lockout and it's gotten really ugly what's the most likely reason that would have happened the answer every question is money and so that's that's the answer to that question you know historically the players have always at least in this game at least on paper enjoyed the larger share of basketball related income that has over the years and through lockouts and shrunk considerably so that you know at some point many many years ago players had 78% of the basketball related income we're now down to 51% still the majority and I use majority in quotes but 51% if and I'm not predicting this will be what happens but if you we find ourselves locked out my bet would be because the owners decided that 51% is much too generous and that is something that that would be absolutely untenable to the membership so on the other hand Don why are you always getting locked out okay so let me go back in baseball from 1970 through to through 1994 there was a strike or a lockout in eight successive negotiations and the issue was always the same the issue was the owners want to put restrictions on players ability to negotiate individual contracts with a draft with limitations on free agency with high compensation for free agents and a whole raft of things the purpose of which is to hold down salaries and the players didn't want any piece of that after 94 which is the year we lost the World Series and the owners adopted a revenue sharing plan which we've basically drafted for them that essentially stopped and there's been labor peace ever since in the sense that there hasn't been a strike or a lockout now why is there one in in hockey the fact is that up until the negotiation Michelle just did for the NBA players there had been a lockout in every salary cap sport negotiation every time it happens I mean the NFL for God's sakes even even locked out the referees so the question is why is that and Michelle already gave you the answer the answer is we're gonna lock the players out we're bigger stronger we have more money they have short careers and we won't have to pay him as much you can come up with a thousand different explanations and PR summaries as to why it is none of the matter that's the reason that's why there's a lockout every time now if when we negotiate again the sentiment is that we have reached an equilibrium point and that's shared by both sides then perhaps you won't have it but that's the history Dominique you wrote an article I believe as last year maybe reflecting on some of these dynamics this sort of asymmetry between the power of the owners versus the players at least in the way that Don just described them and you had a proposal and your proposal was that maybe we need to do something a little bit more extreme on behalf of players which is to decertify the unions and turn them into trade associations and eliminate the dynamic why change the dynamic and in a serious way and just be clear not just as a tactic for a month or two in the middle of the negotiations but just to get rid of the unions altogether to change the game how can you sort of make the argument briefly as to why you think that would be a good idea absolutely this is you've set me up with with the lawyers up here who are running unions to Toulouse but I'll stand by my position and it's not without some trepidation like I as you know in the piece that I wrote I acknowledge that there are certain risks to it but I realized this in our negotiations with football and since followed all the other labor negotiations I realized that what we are asking the players to do is actually illogical and that the unions exist they benefit the league's more than they benefit the players in some respects so the the leagues are allowed to exist as a cartel and an collectively bargain because the union exists that's what allows them antitrust exemption and allows them to treat their business a different way than we would allow anyone to treat any other business so my argument is is that we should remove that protection which would mean you must disclaim the union you can still operate a lot of the same ways to protect the players as a trade association but then the leagues have to exist in the world in the same world that anybody any companies that you guys want to work for exist in where they have to pay you what you're worth can I tell you they can't put free agency restrictions on you they can't do max contracts they can't do which also means they can't do minimum contracts which is another risk so again I understand that it is not without risk but I believe that if we don't do that the league's because again it's in the against the players interest to go through a prolonged fight the league can what they have all the league's have been kind of bleeding back as small portions every year negotiations on the shares going there players and I don't see how that stops anybody you want to know seriously I don't I don't disagree that the existence of a union is a plus for a league now that's not to say it's not a plus for players there are advantages when Dominus made the point yeah there are max salaries but they're also minimum salaries LeBron's gone get paid no matter if there's a union or not but there's some other players who may not get the kind of money that they're getting if there's no union so I absolutely agree I will say this one of the things I was not shy about doing if we had to get there was desertification it is a very powerful tool it is how I believed that the last lockout in the NBA negotiations was ended when when the Union finally when it went about the business of threatening desertification and fatherly antitrust lawsuits I don't want to get into the legal weeds here it is not something that I think is ridiculous in fact and if and when my union your union any union gets to a point where it's simply not in the players best interest to continue to be a union they should decertify and if they if the owners want to go there players should be prepared to go with them but I do think it's it is a tool that is effectively used in CBA negotiations and for a while the NFL NFL PA operators the trade association and frankly my observation plays did pretty well yeah I mean that was the best you could argue that was the most advancements that the NFL players had in their history was when they operated as a trade association they gained free agency and the only reason why they reformed the union was because the league required it in there settlement no I think you can actually reduce this argument down to its bare essence and it comes down to this any group of employees has a union because they believe it's better to have the Union than not there are always differences but on balance it's better to have that than not and if the Union I now represent or any of the other ones in professional sports get to the point where they say having the Union is more detrimental to us than not and the only thing you can do is decertify or abandoned your your bargaining rights and that creates differences in terms of what you can negotiate in what you can so it's a it's a balancing test but it's something you have to go through each time having said that just a little note on how upside down Sports is when we say the owners need a union what we mean is they need the union to sign off on the restrictions of individual contracting beginning with the player draft player draft in the absence of the union saying okay is simply price-fixing violation of the Sherman and Clayton acts so they'd need it to that extent which means as what happened in the basketball negotiation to which michelle referred management was saying we have to reform the union and have a collective bargaining agreement and I suggest to you that any time management is running around saying we have to have a union the world is turned upside down you know it is interesting because as a bit of a history buff you know one of the things that you see over and over again is that things that look like a good idea after a few generations people sort of forget why it was a good idea in the first place so for the students you know when you if you go back to the early 1800s during the Napoleonic Wars as the Wars came to an end for the next 80 to 100 years there was a lot of peace in Europe in ways that had never been seen before and the reason was or one of the big reasons was that there was a web of coalition's and alliance that were made across these different countries to not allow things to blow up like they had previously by the time the late 18-hundreds come in and the early 1900s these alliances are starting to look a little bit inconvenient these coalition's are just getting a little bit costly so people started dismantling them but they're living in a world of privilege where there has not been great war which is one of the reasons you end up with World War one only a few years later and I think you find that same dynamic in a lot of environments people that are sitting there saying we don't need vaccines yeah that's because you're not living in a world that didn't have accidents you say I don't need them and then you wonder and I thank Dominique for having such a provocative idea and understanding this balance that it's risky because you know we've had certain wins as Michelle said there's certain things we have if we went back to the olden days it was a reason they were motivated to create unions on the other hand we might get to a point where it tips over in the other directions it's really fascinating which shot why by the way in case anybody missed the point dismantling NATO is a really bad idea I want to change the subject a little bit obviously still on advocacy but moving in a slightly different direction you know for many years at least I remember as I was growing up players were often criticized for not speaking out on important issues now some players are getting criticized for speaking out on important issues whether it's about social justice or anything else Jim I want to start with you from your perspective what happens to a player or what happens to a player's marketability or attraction from the point of a team if they're very vocal in their interactions in their in their speech on issues that are important to them that some folks in the audience might think is none of a player's business well I think I guess I have two responses that the first one is that I think it's a function of how good the player is you know so I think that the better the player obviously the more leeway that player has in terms of his ability to take a stand and also stand as an example for other players that that may not have the same leverage that he has so that's number one I think number two it's also related to the league that the player is playing in you know I think that I give great credit to the NBA and to Michele when these things started happening they issued a joint lead – the players basically saying it was okay for you all to take a stand and that we're gonna support you as a union and as a league and so I think in that environment it made it much easier for players to take those stands and to to have something to say and to try to be effective in that regard whereas other leagues at the NFL didn't really embrace it in the same manner and so it created more of a problem that that wasn't necessarily addressed the same way so and maybe this will fall up to you and and since Dominique you're in the in the NFL world as well so why is colin kaepernick not on a team from your perspective there's there's many theories there is the theory that well he's just not a good enough fit as a player currently that's that's a one argument the other argument is the other extreme which is he's being blackballed it's a conspiracy it's a league wide decision and then there's a middle ground which is no individual team just wants to deal with it it's just easier to say no and all of those individual decisions add up to he doesn't have a job right where do you come out you know I think like Dominic obviously is a more of a football expert than I am but I think I think he goes back to what I was talking about in terms of his his talent level so I think the greater the talent the more I get so it's like kind of a scale so the greater the talent the more I think teams would accept I think in his case you know he took a very prominent stand obviously and I think his talent level may not necessarily reflect that the teams are willing to put up with that so you know I don't think it's a if I put up what that means just the amount of backlash they may feel like making a judgment call as to whether or not his talent justifies all the other things are gonna come along with the protests that he started I don't think personally I don't think like the league has gotten together to collude against them I think it's possible but I don't think that's the case I think individual teams are making assessments as to weighing his talent versus of the controversy that comes along with it did you want to jump in from the NFL perspective or um I mean I don't think I need footballs forties America's a racist place on occasion I think that's what it boils down to frankly I think that's what it all derived from and at the Sloan analytics conference I don't think I need to make a case for Colin Kaepernick's acumen as a quarterback I think numbers pretty pretty clearly point out that he is at least middle of the pack if not upper half of the league starting quarterback so what keeps him out of the league is has nothing to do with his football ability I think it has to do with our history and inability to come to terms with the racial inequality that exists in our country and you sort of echoed the it's probably individual teams making that decision rather than some hey let's all just stay away I mean I don't think it matters it's probably it's yeah I mean I'm not sure what difference does it makes I mean the Colin Kaepernick conversation is much bigger than whether he gets on the field or not on the field the question of why he is not on the field i I I like to think that the owners and NFL are smart enough not to send around an email chain that says hey let's keep this dude out the league but you you never you never know but you're not sure don't think it I I'm not a hundred percent 100% sure frankly so Michelle a variation on the question you see a bit of a difference in the way in which people are speaking out or taking a stand in for example the NFL versus the NBA it would we attribute that to just different cultures different relationships between players and their fans or players and owners I mean you do see some a different story you don't see Trump tweeting about the NBA and yet people are speaking up in their own way so I'm just wondering why the difference exists you know and again I just don't know any football players so I don't want to suggest that there's a difference between them and and and basketball players I do think that you know Colin Kaepernick and they forgive me I don't I don't follow football I never heard the guy until he took at me on the other hand the year and a half two years ago you had LeBron Chris Paul Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh at the ESPYs for the most popular players in my game standing up and speaking and I think that made a real difference I mean to attack those four players would have taken a lot of hoods book and they're all loved so and you know I suspect that my game was was helped because some of the stars of my game took the helm and set us set a standard that everyone agreed with you know Trump tried to take on staff and that took like 12 seconds before the world turned against him and he's we've never heard a peep of him forgive me if I ignite his fire I think we'll be hearing a peep in about 16 seconds I just recently there was a television person that tried to take on LeBron and the response was overwhelmingly and LeBrons favor so you know I don't know I do think there is a difference between how our fan base is reacting to our players and then there is to the the NFL's fan base reacted to its players but I don't disagree I mean they still wrote the n-word on LeBron town home this is a racist country and we can't put we can't forget that done you look like you wanted to jump in well it just when we think about these kinds of issues we tend to talk about them in the specific what happened to Kaepernick what happened to look to LeBron and it's obvious why we do that because the examples are out there glaring in neon lights I just want you to think about the context for a moment professional sports is enmeshed with politics and culture it's all over everywhere why is it that you think presidents go to football games and baseball games and hockey games and basketball games because it's good for them to be seen there why it's we fly jets over stadiums well you know what why do we do this so when you take a private employment entertainment setting and what you then do is you suffuse politics you'd have to have some people the players who were really out of it if none of them had any opinions about anything or wanted to express themselves that's the world they live in and to say well I just won't say anything and be taken by people as saying you agree with what's going on that's the pressure of the players face it's really difficult my guys had an interesting one when this started because 75% of my membership is not American and they felt that's the last thing we want to do is get involved in an American cultural issue mm-hmm what I want to do is something a little bit different for the next few minutes we're gonna do a bit of a speed round so instead of getting deep into any topic we're just gonna get some quick reactions on a few different questions these are mostly filling the blank with a word or two or a short answer and we'll just sort of go up and down up and down the court here okay now let's start with Jamin I'll come this way and then over that way so you get reasonably the same amount of time to think about this well let's make it quick and this is bounce around a little bit so Jim you know someone is a poor negotiator when they blank you know someone's a poor negotiator when they do what first reaction when they're not prepared when they're unprepared all right same question people when they think that tactics in the room will have an effect okay when they can't explain why you can't answer the question can't justify why they're demanding all right not from my standpoint in the context of labor negotiations it's if you think it's about persuasion and logic and reason it's not it is about instead leverage now going this way so Don you're up twice if I couldn't work in sports I would work in I've always wanted to go back and study physics although though the math I learned math they use now didn't exist when I learned it so it'd be hard that's all math now so I have to go back to what I did before I got here compacted practice in the law law yeah you don't sound excited about that no because I'm having too much fun now so what would you do instead I mean yeah I'd be a gardener a gardener yeah that's much better yeah this garden I mean a model obviously [Laughter] [Applause] Jim model is already taken so you're gonna do something else I think I'd be a movie a movie executive a movie director executive executive all right now we'll go this way so Jim's starting with you on a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being the highest of course how much do you think owners care about players just throw out a number always make it fast 5 4 I'll go with 5 because I'm seeing some good faces and some horrible food individually 5 or 6 or 7 sometimes they know somebody as a collective group 1 ok now Don you get to take the second question which is related only a little different on a scale of 0 to 10 how much do you think players care about owners I I don't really know the answer to that I think it depends on the relationship that they have with a given owner they don't care about owners except out of the individual friends out of the individual friends no I'm talking about if they know an owner on a team and they have a good relationship with them I think they care about that individual on that team it's hard to go beyond that and you're messing this up come on Michele agree I mean players don't typically talk about owners outside of this saying this is business rarely but on occasion a play will say you know this guy's really good guy it depends on the time of year frankly because it seems that the players care a lot about the owners when the owners are trying to take the players money which happens cyclically it appears but otherwise they they don't really care I'd say three thank you for playing the game we don't have to follow your rules no bye-bye your constrictions what are you gonna do decertify the panel why not you know he's a rebel all right Jim it's an important decision and if you're willing to play the rules choose one or the other it's an important decision you have compelling data that suggests you should do X but your gut tells you you should do Y which do you go with the data or your gut oh my god I mean I think that's based on experience and you know being able to it also date up some kind yeah being able to predict what's gonna happen and I think largely that's based on experience and having done it before compelling data or your gut both again I mean you shouldn't challenge me now now my goal is just not to fall I think the answer is definitely both but I mean I think I lean more to two data because while I agree with Don that that data doesn't necessarily move other people I like to feel confident in and anecdotes or feelings or guts like don't make me feel as confident which may be it may be a fallacy but IELTS in the direction of data then okay Michele yeah absolutely got absolute guy okay Don negotiations in the end our poker games so you're looking at both but the last call is a gut call last things that got called you said okay starting with you Don I don't think you're gonna argue with the premise of this question but you never know for this one just give me the first letter of the word if you were to end up cursing during a negotiation the swear word you are most likely to use is yes yes okay no question that the f-bomb the f-bomb all right oh yeah there have been several f-bombs used in negotiation sadly yeah what the f are you talking about okay got it all right this is what the kinds of things you learned here nice conference all right what's a trait this we'll start with Jim what's a trait or characteristic that is necessary if you want to be a great negotiator all right from all the negotiations you've done and the things that you've seen people do well in not well if you had to pick one trader characteristic what do you think the person needs well I would say – I'm gonna follow down my ex lead and say that I'm not gonna pick one I would say one is flexibility flexibility okay I'll take you to read the situation and try to come up with win-win alternatives and there's never you know one right answer and I think second is just preparation that I referred to before like you can't go into a negotiation unprepared you'll get killed so you've got to know as much about the subject matter about the rules about you know past history as you can and that allows you to be successful though preparation but also flexibility know what you're doing going in and then being able to change as needed – I think it's vision like a long-term vision because like to the earlier negotiation question that you asked me I think often people think negotiations is about going in the room and playing hardball or like somehow tricking the guy across the table but it's actually about leverage which Don said and it takes a long time to build up enough leverage to accomplish anything okay so start early play the long game okay Michele no realistically what you cannot compromise about and what your your client membership whatever is prepared to go go down fighting on but be realistic in the knowledge about that mm-hmm I think flexibility or agility when you're in negotiations if they go on for a while it's like riding a wave with a surfboard and you got to make sure you don't fall off of it and sometimes the water moves all right we have about six six and a half minutes left and what we do want to make sure we do is get some of the voices that are in the room to be able to ask a question or two as well so I'm gonna throw one of these questions out and and you know I'm gonna make it a jump ball to start out and anybody can weigh in and if not I can happily call on someone its percentage of profit share the sole metric of success moving forward or are there other metrics that you want to consider as you know we had a CVA negotiation and I call it a success because I guess this Don and Michelle would probably problem with what the question is that when you say a percentage of the profits we can't even define profits okay so you have to look at everything and one of the big things as Michelle shell correctly pointed out the beginning is how much money is there when you add it all up and that requires more transparency or Trust in in terms of how the numbers are being accounted for that is that the point you're trying to make that we can get a great percentage but if we're not really getting the money that we hope to get Michelle that's right and it is money but what the what the pot looks like is in and of itself a battle so any any efforts any success we have in changing or expanding the definition of what is in the pie it's significant but addition to money probably freedom free agency but those are the kinds of things that are top of mind and negotiation okay and if you think about the changes that are happening not only with data analytics but wearable technology and they're creeping into the different sports how do you see this changing the dynamics going forward either in how players contracts are negotiated with teams the way the way Jim advocates for them or in CBA negotiations do you think in the coming years this will become a really big deal or is it just gonna be a marginal small issue that'll be easy to take care of I'll start with Jim and then we can move this way I you know I think in the NBA it's already been an issue I think that they've they if I'm not mistaken they've come up with a committee that addresses it you know half the committee is appointed by the MVP a half by the by the NBA I think it's voluntary that players can wear can be asked to wear the technology and the NBA team has to justify why they're asking them to wear it I do think increasingly it's gonna become more important the way I look at it is kind of two different buckets of wearable technology though I think the first is the movement tracking you know acceleration deceleration load things like that like that doesn't come turn me as much as the biometric stuff where they're analyzing the oxygen in your blood or the recovery rates or things like that where to me that's very personal to the player and so that troubles me a little bit more to the extent that that part gets gets more prevalent others just brief comment obviously this is the new hot fad and it's gonna be out there whether it'll be around in any meaningful fashion five or ten years from now I think is is anybody's guess but there's this big push to quantify everything without as of yet knowing what those quantities mean so we can say you skated a little bit slower than you did three years ago does that mean your play is better or worse are you taking time to figure out where you're going or can you not keep up anymore and so there's a real danger in negotiations of having a lot of statistics which merely provide excuses for people to do what what they want to do I agree entirely with the biometric data that's player personal it's health-related and in our view owned Michele and what I will say is that our primary focus has been on protecting the players privacy and not having that information be used in a way that harms the player and so at this stage amount in our in our at our game it is voluntary I intend and hope that it will remain voluntarily voluntary and we cost you the players about how if at all they should be disclosing this information efficacy validation those things are important to us we don't know if some of this stuff is frankly junk and we certainly don't want to have it be the source of or be used in contract negotiation so and just maintaining control of the data is been our primary focus I'll ask one question it comes from something that's been sent by the audience I just frame it slightly differently Dominique said earlier that you know think about the long game and think about well in advance and a lot of you have talked about leverage not just what happens at the table and in that context it makes me think about the comment commissioner Gary Bettman made yesterday when he was asked about you know in the National Hockey League not playing in the Olympics and then he made a comment which was you know it was a was a dealer's choice he didn't have to make the comment but he made a comment basically suggesting that even in 2022 maybe these players should not be in or would not be in the Olympics is he just starting early and framing the negotiation and creating a bargaining chip is he just being honest about what he thinks about is this something that would hurt your relationship with him in the negotiation not the personal relationship is this something that can be easily dismissed I mean how does this how do we think of a statement like that yesterday in the context of the broader negotiation I did not hear the statement I did read a number of articles about it and what struck me was that it was completely unnecessary and appeared to be a reaction to the NBC president's comments about television ratings from the players standpoint since we're not in Korea it's likely to be an issue we did not have any money issues with the IOC the last time in the International Ice Hockey Federation those were all resolved the players look at the notion that we're going to expand into China and play games there and try and develop a market and somehow that wouldn't include the best players in the world in a place where a billion Chinese can watch them a prime time is something you just roll your eyes about it's sort of amazing last thing was this last time around it did get into collective bargaining the owners wanted concessions in collective bargaining in order to go to the Olympics which raises the whole question about whether any athlete ought to be paying somebody to go to the Olympics last thing I'll say to give you an idea of how strongly players feel about it it means a lot to be able to go to the Olympics and represent your country there's pride there's a cultural imperative especially in Europe that goes with it and there is a real patriotic factor that goes with it and given the unique place the Olympics has had long-term you know sort of a decent respect for the opinions of the players in that regard in my judgment ought to carry the day – I mean can I am to that to your question like I don't think that it matters whether whether it was intended to be a negotiation employer or a tactic or not I think that everything particularly that commissioners do will impact negotiations which is frankly why Adam Silver somebody who I like a great deal personally but as a union guy and I'm silver terrifies me because Adams uber is building up a great deal of goodwill frankly and that goodwill could be weaponized at some point against the players and that's a problem that we don't have or that the NFL not we'd that the NFL Players Association does not have with Roger Goodell I have a different situation that seems like a very grim not terrible what is your relationship with Adam I have a great relationship with Adam silver I also know that every time he opens his mouth it's it's intentional he doesn't do things by accident and it his popularity is well as well rehearsed so I have no I understand what he's doing and I frankly don't blame him that's what I would do if I were he but don't be fooled into thinking that we don't understand that that if there's a statement that he makes that in the end or in the beginning we think is not in the best interest of our game or the vestiges of our players we do and we'll respond just but but sure Gary's negotiating Adams negotiating right now every time he opens his mouth he's negotiating that's fine start remember one thing remember one thing everything is PR okay including the title commissioner why don't we call him president the CEO of the business as commissioner sounds like he's working for the public he's not it's great boy sure sounds like he's gonna take our taxes but anyway thank you very much to the panel really appreciate the time that you spent and and answering all these questions and to the audience for your questions as well and I think some folks around you

SSAC18: Playing for the Players: The Future of Player Advocacy
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