NFL ignores Japanese disaster in light of internal struggle

Compared to Major League Baseball, the National Football League falls behind in Japanese relief efforts.

Joseph DeClercq, Writer

On March 12, the NFL basically decided that at this point, the 2011-2012 season wouldn’t happen. ESPN.com reported the reason for this: “Unable to decide how to divvy up $9 billion a year, NFL owners and players put the country’s most popular sport in limbo by breaking off labor negotiations hours before the collective bargaining agreement expired.”

Isn’t this just how our country runs? We can’t agree over money issues so we opt out entirely? Imagine how the people of Japan are feeling right about now. They don’t even have the money to continue offering basic services needed for survival, such as transportation, food and clean running water.

Earthquake and tsunami damages

After the earthquake and tsunamis that rocked Japan on March 11, the death toll for the country stands at almost 6,000 confirmed deaths and another 9,522 people missing, according to Daily Mail. Those numbers may yet be underestimated –– this devastating occurrence has shaken the economic foundation of Japan harder than we can comprehend.

The total cost of the destruction will reach more than $100 billion, according to CNN Money and that doesn’t include the revenue lost from the services that cannot function as a result of this tragedy.

Houses have been destroyed, power lines snapped and train services in the most populated areas of the country have been suspended. Factory assembly lines have been halted and a nuclear power plant had to be evacuated and shutdown after it lost power. Time lost and the lack of man power due to death and injury will surely raise the monetary loss to hundreds of billions of dollars.

NFL should donate funds to Japanese relief

What should happen now is this: the NFL needs to realize just how petty $9 billion is. Rather than fighting amongst themselves about how to internally disburse the funds, they should instead distribute it to the thousands of Japanese relief funds springing up around the world. As of now, I haven’t heard a word about any efforts by NFL to raise money or awareness for Japan, other than a short blurb on an NFL.com blog mentioning the Red Cross.

MLB attentive to relief efforts

Major League Baseball is getting involved all over the country. The Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers have all made promotional videos and are asking for help in aiding Japan.

NFL’s lack of support

It seems to me that lives lost and homes and businesses destroyed across an entire country is a much bigger global problem than the NFL teams not being able to pay for their mega-stadiums and overpriced players. Right now, the average NFL team spends nearly $150 million on payroll, according to USA Today. Is doubling that amount really necessary right now?

The NFL needs to realize that their problems aren’t that big and they should simply come to an agreement. They need to quit arguing over whether they get $185 million less than what they asked for and reach out to Japan. What can happen is teams and players can take pay cuts and offer the money they save from that and donate it to relief efforts in Japan or another organization involved.

Major League Baseball has helped, and poor families and students all over America are doing what they can to raise support, but now it is the NFL’s turn. We need to continue praying for Japan, but pray for the NFL as well. Ask God to open the hearts of those involved in this lockout. May they decide to give rather than fight –– because there is so much more at stake right now than a game.

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