Billy Hunter Sends Letter to All Players
As you have undoubtedly heard, negotiations with the owners aimed at ending their 4-month lockout collapsed on Friday, October 28. After three days of productive talks, which followed a week of negotiations aided by the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service, the owners held firm to their ultimatum that we take a 50/50 split in BRI. It was at this moment that the Negotiating Committee and I decided that it no longer made sense for the union to continue the negotiations, and I led our group out of the room. Derek sent out a thoughtful letter last night summarizing his thoughts, and I want to follow up to reinforce his message of solidarity and reflect on where we may go from here.
Let me begin with some positive news. During the marathon session last Wednesday and the two days that followed on Thursday and Friday, we made great progress in working through many of the system issues that must be resolved before a deal can be reached. While the soft cap/luxury tax system we are negotiating is far from perfect and contains positives and negatives for both sides, I believe that if the last few system issues are resolved in our favor, it will be one that we can recommend to you. Without question, we have given more than the owners, but at bottom, we are determined to defend the principles we have fought for throughout — guaranteed contracts, healthy minimums, fair maximums, a strong middle class, and a true market for free agency.