Dolphins owner Stephen Ross isn’t shy when it comes to speaking out about NFL players and unions. He says that he has no sympathy for either of them and that unions have overstepped their bounds.
The NFL players shouldn’t expect any sympathy from Dolphins owner Stephen Ross in their current labor impasse. Ross, the Dolphins’ majority owner since early 2009, said he doesn’t care much for unions – and that extends to unions of government employees and laborers as well as the former NFL players Association. “The unions have kind of exceeded their bounds, if you know what I mean, in just about every aspect of life,” Ross told South Florida reporters during his lunch break at the NFL owners’ annual meetings.
“Every single industry that is union dominated, those companies are in trouble. You look at every state and city government, they’re all bankrupt. … There’s a reason why there’s a lot of anti-union sentiment in the country today.” Ross, 70, is no stranger to dealing with unions. His real estate firm, The Related Cos., has used union workers to build most of his massive projects, which include the $1.7 billion Time Warner Building in Manhattan, City Place in West Palm Beach and future plans to develop in Dubai. But Ross admitted that dealing with multi-million dollar football players is much different than bargaining with construction workers,NFL owners enforced a lockout on March 11 after the NFLPA decertified and walked away from the negotiating table.
“Other unions, we’re talking about wages up to $50-60 an hour,” Ross said. “Here you’re talking about players making $2 million-plus a year. Big difference. There’s a bigger sense of entitlement when you’re making a huge amount of money.” Ross said that when he became the team’s majority owner in January 2009, he didn’t think a lockout would come to pass. “I would’ve thought that better minds would have prevailed already, but yes, it was certainly a risk,” he said.