When big egos and big mouths make for big fights
The 2012 NHL lockout is another sporting disaster for the books. On the one side you have the team owners, who are fronting all of the risk of running a team and say they are bleeding money and need to cut spending. On the other you have the players who aren’t willing to rollback their annual pay again given that the league is going through a time of generating record revenues. The owners are seen as greedy businessman. The players are seen as whiners who already make millions in a career they supposedly love. And there lies a feudal recipe of epic proportions.
The leaders of both sides have become the faces of the feud — Gary Bettman representing the owners and Donald Fehr representing the players. At the helm of the NHL as commissioner for 20 years, Bettman is a veteran of two previous extended lockouts and largely seen as the man who forced the players to accept a salary cap by canceling an entire season in 2004-05. Donald Fehr, who led the 1994 players strike that wiped out MLB's World Series, is so integral to sports labour because he helped establish the rights of baseball players to become free agents back in 1976 in a decision that changed the sports world forever.
Both are experienced, savvy and fearless negotiators, and as we've seen so far in this lockout, both have come out of hockey's front lines geared up and ready for battle. Here are some other big feuds in the world of sports.