Obama Won't Intervene in NFL Labor Talks, Has 'Stuff to Do'

By Chris Good

With an 11:59 p.m. deadline looming for NFL owners and players to secure a new collective bargaining agreement, President Obama was asked at his press conference Thursday afternoon whether he would intervene. His answer: no.

Perhaps harkening back to the economic populism of his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama referenced the "billionaires" and "millionaires" divvying up billions of dollars at the bargaining table at a time when many people are struggling.

"You've got owners, most of whom are worth close to a billion dollars. You've got players who are making millions of dollars. My working assumption, at a time when people are having to ... worry about making a mortgage and paying for their kids' college education, is the two parties should be able to work it out without the president of the United States intervening," Obama said.

"I'm a big football fan, but I also think that for an industry that's making nine billion dollars a year in revenue, they can figure out how to divide it up in a sensible way," Obama said. "I've got a lot of other stuff to do."

Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who appeared with Obama at the press conference at the White House, offered Mexico's moral support: "With the exception of money, you can count on us," Calderon said.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/03/obama-wont-intervene-in-nfl-labor-talks-has-stuff-to-do/71990/