NFL on strike

Published: 1987
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI

Ken Herrera: 1987 will not be remembered as a good year for organized labor. The National Association of Broadcast Engineers and Technicians went on strike against NBC, and when they returned, several hundred found themselves without jobs.

But the fact that it was a less-than-illustrious year for labor was best demonstrated perhaps by the National Football League Players Association, as Bob Berger explains …

Bob Berger: "Players in the National Football League go on strike."

Ken Herrera: And so for the second time in five years, NFL players performed on a picket line. The main issues was free agency. The union demanded it; however, Jack Donlan and the Management Council weren’t about to give it to them …

Jack Donlan: "The proposal eliminates for all intents and purpose our compensation system; it just takes it all out of the competitive -- the Bell assessment."

Ken Herrera: There was a far different aspect to this strike than the last: the owners kept the season going with replacement players, and as the weeks went by solidarity was sacrificed for weekly paychecks, and the union caved in …

Unknown Speaker: "It’s unfair to the players to continue making great sacrifices that they have made."

Ken Herrera: Union Executive Director Gene Upshaw sent the players back to work, then filed a lawsuit against the NFL.

On opening day of the baseball season, the long career of Dodgers' executive Al Campanis came to a shocking halt when on ABCs "Nightline" he said blacks may not have some of the necessities to be a manager or general manager. The comment set off a furor and cost Campanis his job and caused Peter Ueberroth and baseball a great deal of embarrassment …

Peter Ueberroth: "The individual does not speak for baseball; he … he spoke for himself. He doesn’t speak for the Dodgers, as I think the Dodgers proved very clearly."

Ken Herrera: Baseball began an affirmative-action program, but still there are no black managers or GMs.