In an attempt to show solidarity before Thursday's NFL season opener between the Saints and Vikings, members of both teams came out on to the field just prior to kick off and gave team owners the finger. Not the middle finger, but rather players all held up their index fingers to say that they (and all members of the NFL's players union) would not be divided as they seek a new labor contract.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees, a member of the NFLPA (the union) executive board, said the effort was coordinated to send a message that the players are united in their current quest for a new labor deal (collective bargaining agreement).
"Even though five minutes from then we were going to go out and bash each others' heads in," Brees said, "we're all one voice."
The owners have opted out of the old agreement, and are threatening to lock the players out next year if they do not negotiate a new deal. Among the sticking points: asking players to take a pay cut. That has the union very upset, and failed negotiations prompted last nights gesture.
Not everyone was impressed, though. Former player and ESPN host Mike Golic lambasted the gesture this morning on his radio show, and had it out with fellow NFL veteran Marcellus Wiley: