Seattle Seahawks star Richard Sherman said NFL players must be willing to go on strike if they want similar salaries seen in the NBA and MLB.
Many players, from Sammy Watkins to Emmanuel Sanders, have voiced their displeasure about their NFL salaries compared to basketballers and baseballers.
With NBA free agency in its first month, several six-figure contracts have made headlines. There is one thing both NBA and MLB players have in common – they have gone on strike in past seasons.
"If we want, as the NFL, as a union, to get anything done, players have to be willing to strike. That's the thing that guys need to 100 per cent realise," Super Bowl champion and four-time Pro-Bowler Sherman said at the ESPYs on Wednesday.
"You're going to have to miss games, you're going to have to lose some money if you're willing to make the point, because that's how MLB and NBA got it done. They missed games, they struck, they flexed every bit of power they had, and it was awesome. It worked out for them."
An NBA player lockout in 2011 shortened the season from 82 games to 66, but the players did win a larger share of revenue and the salary cap and luxury tax were both restructured.
The last MLB player strike affected both the 1994 and 1995 seasons, and resulted in the cancelation of the 1994 World Series.
The NFL had its own lockout in 2011, but it only lasted from March to July, so it did not directly affect the regular season.
NFL players did strike in 1982, resulting in a nine-game season.
Another aspect Sherman said NFL players need to look at is how their contract is structured.
Instead of mammoth five or six-year deals, NBA players take on shorter contracts for a max payday.
"NBA players like KD [Kevin Durant] and LeBron [James] are sitting there taking two-year deals like it's nothing," Sherman said. "They figure, 'I'll take a two-year deal because I'm going to wait for the salary cap to increase and get another bite at the apple.' In our sport, they won't do it."
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