Birk Takes Issue With President Obama’s Comments

Matt Birk didn’t agree with President Obama’s characterizations of the NFL CBA dispute.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Monday, March 7th, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Categories: Sarah Ellison

President Barack Obama recently told reporters that he wouldn’t intervene in the NFL’s labor dispute and expects wealthy owners and players to figure out how to share billions of dollars of revenue.

Ravens center Matt Birk took umbrage with some of President Obama’s comments, including the following:

“You’ve got owners, most of whom are worth close to a billion dollars. You’ve got players who are making millions of dollars,” President Obama said. “My working assumption, at a time when people are having to cut back, compromise and worry about making the mortgage and, you know, paying for their kid’s college education, is, is that the two parties should be able to work it out without the President of the United States intervening.”

He added, “I also think that for an industry that’s making $9 billion a year in revenue, they can figure out how to divide it up in a sensible way.”

But in an interview with Steve Davis and Ed Norris of 105.7 the Fan, Ravens center Matt Birk said he didn’t agree with many of President Obama’s statements and believes one was given in a sarcastic tone.

“He talked about the NFL making $9 billion, which is correct, but he kind of said it a little bit sarcastic,” Birk remarked. “I mean, the U.S. government brings in a couple trillion, don’t you think they’d know how to balance the budget?”

“And ‘millionaire players’ isn’t really correct. Most NFL players are not millionaires. They don’t make millions of dollars, but that’s okay. You know what, that kind of right there is the general feeling: billionaires and millionaires and nobody really cares about their problems, ‘Work it out.’”

Even though some players don’t make millions, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio said it is still difficult for fans to relate to people who are even making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year because “it is still more money than 99 percent of the people who follow the sport.”

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