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1982- NFL players begin a 57 day strike

September 21, 2022

On September 21, 1982, the NFL players Union went on strike to mount pressure on the franchise owners. During the longest strike in sports history, the primary demand of the players association, headed by Ed Garvey, was that its members should receive 55% of the NFL's gross revenues. The owners were unhappy with the demands but agreed to most of them.

The 1982 NFL strike reduced the 63rd regular NFL season from a 16-game schedule per team to a nine-game schedule. During the longest strike in sports history, lasting 57 days, the franchise owners attempted to counter the players' demands by bringing in new replacement players, but that did little to uphold a positive image of the league.

The players' association demands included a 55% revenue share of the league's gross revenues, a minimum salary for players depending on the years of service, and insurance, medical, and retirement benefits. Part of the deal was also the institution of a severance pay system to easily transition retiring players to different careers.

While the Ed Garvey-led strike achieved some concrete results for the players, it also led to some significant losses for the franchise owners. Some $275 million in revenues and wages were lost in the seven-regular games that players missed. And the players also lost $15,000 per game.


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