Report: NFL owners ‘fearful’ of potential Bernie Sanders’ nomination in CBA talks

By Matt Johnson
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL Players’ Association debates over a proposed new collective-bargaining agreement from the NFL, team owners are starting to worry about what could happen without a deal heading into an election year.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, NFL owners are fearful of Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic nomination and worried that the upcoming election will hurt the league’s television ratings.

According to the report, owners around the league are worried that a potential Sanders’ nomination would hurt the stock market and business operations.

The NFL is also concerned over a potential drop in ratings during the 2020 season because of the upcoming presidential election. The league suffered a decline in viewership during the 2016 election cycle and fears it would experience a similar outcome this time around.

The timing is particularly problematic for the NFL because it wants to move forward negotiating record-breaking media deals with television networks. Currently, the NFL is in a position of strength in negotiations with networks, but they would lose that if the ratings take a hit and a lockout is looming.

The NFLPA temporarily tabled a vote on the NFL’s proposed on Friday after multiple stars players spoke out publicly against the offer. We’ll have to see if the players can convince the owners to offer further benefits in a new CBA, in exchange for approval on a new 10-year deal.

If that happens, the NFL could then move forward with negotiations on new television deals and the entire league would likely benefit.