This must be a dream. We actually just had two major leagues come to labor peace without a lockout or strike. MLB would have been out of season so we probably wouldn’t have missed any games. The NBA’s would have kicked in after the season, but the discussions were in the middle of the year. The last thing the NBA needed was a lockout looming over the league while it’s having a great season. The good news: we won’t have to talk about lockouts or strikes until 2021. The NFL and NFLPA may have a few disagreements to discuss then.
This is not the norm. Almost every time a CBA has expired over the past 20 years, a lockout has ensued. It’s the ultimate form of negotiating leverage. Usually a lockout helps the owners get something out of players. It’s the way the business works.
Suddenly, it’s not the way everything works. The truth is MLB and the NBA probably don’t want to have the good times stop. Both are in a great position with their TV deals. Both have an immense amount of young talent. Both have huge momentum and are trying to grow the game. MLB is trying to appeal to younger viewers. The NBA is trying to pull in as many casual viewers as possible after it has taken the number two spot in the national psyche. As baseball has been retreating in popularity, the NBA has crept up behind the NFL. It’s not close, but with LeBron, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook, the NBA is still gaining in popularity and star power.
It’s simple. If the business isn’t working, there’s a lockout. It’s pretty obvious both businesses are working out just fine. MLB had historic ratings with the Cubs v. Indians World Series. Missing a season could kill momentum. The Cubs could become a new dynasty. These are things you don’t mess with. MLB has recently been pretty quiet on the labor front anyways. It’s not like Kris Bryant is complaining every week about the league like Richard Sherman.
Bask in the glory of labor peace for a little bit. We won’t see it when the NFL deal runs up. In the meantime we will probably hear more about UFC trying to unionize, and maybe college players will try for unionization again. For now, there is labor peace in our time.