CFL players deserve a fair deal: Brown

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Doug Brown no longer sits at the bargaining table, but he’s still extremely concerned about the potential for a CFL work stoppage.

The former Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive lineman took time from the KidSport football camp he was running on Saturday morning to share his views on what appears to be a significant divide between CFL owners and the CFLPA.

"It seems that they have so far to go with so little time, that’s what is most depressing about this," said Brown, who retired in March of 2012 after playing 11 seasons with the Blue Bombers. "I haven’t been involved in the meetings and of course, they’re not negotiating publicly but right now the stuff you see with proposals that have been tabled, I don’t want to say they’re disrespectful but they’re not fair.

"I’m not a player anymore, but I’m still involved on a game-by-game basis doing radio (colour commentary on CJOB). Nobody wants to see a strike happen. But having been part of the process for three or four CBAs (collective bargaining agreements) prior and the concessions we’ve always had to make and compromise as players, they’re not asking for the world."

Brown cautioned those who take the stance that the players are being greedy in this negotiation.

"Let me put it to you this way, in the CFL, the minimum salary is $45,000 or whatever, would you let me break your femur for $45,000? That’s the potential exposure these guys put themselves out there for," said Brown. "When there’s an extra $2.7 million coming along (in the new broadcast deal with TSN), it needs to be shared.

"The owner’s want to get paid back and you understand that, but at the same time, this is a TV deal and (the players) are what everyone is watching on TV."