Seems like decades ago to some. Seems like yesterday to others. For us hockey fans, it was 3 Lockouts ago. 3 Lockouts in my young life. Many different owners over the course of the 3 events, many different players and many different issues regarding the league but one constant: Gary Bettman. The players hate him. The fans hate him. God hates him. And the worst part is that he knows this and goes on the attack whenever he is faced with any sort of criticism by fans/media. I hate him as much as the rest of you lot, but what really gets me is this:
I am as anti-Union as it gets. I have been told that a players’ Union is necessary because of how much they get paid. Which is bullcrap. Unions typically begin because people want more money, implying they are started because of how little a group of workers is paid (in truth, most unions begin because the unions themselves and their bosses want money). When it comes to an issue of compensation, I can never whole-heartedly, honestly, and consciously back a union. I’m like Ron Francis in the sense that I believe in working for what I agreed to be compensating for however long that contract is valid.
Hit the jump for more from Sully:
And Gary and the owners have this idea that they’re appealing to my capitalist side, indeed the inner-capitalist in all of us, by stressing We won’t be pushed around by a labour union. We will lock them out until our demands are met. Wait! Isn’t that the same cheap, weasely, go-to strategy of organized labour that has plagued my industry the last 30 years? If you want to prove a point in fighting against a union, you don’t quit and say no one can work until I have my way, regardless of the non-unionised casualties that will be a direct result of this. And this isn’t the first time Bettman has been involved in these tactics. Meaning he is exactly what he despises, has become the one thing he is trying to protect himself against, and whether he realizes it or not, he comes across to all of us as someone who is completely unaware. Such a little hypocritical weasel. For that, I have zero respect for him (and we know a thing or two about dealing with unions – at times violent unions – in our industry).