Saints, Vikings open with a gesture of labor unity
If there is an NFL lockout next year at this time, the first significant visual image may have arrived Thursday night on NBC's national telecast of the season opener.
Just before the coin toss, players for the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings walked to the hash marks in the Louisiana SuperDome and held up their index fingers in what was, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, a gesture of unity (see NFL.com video) that players hope will become a pregame routine.
"Even though five minutes from then we were going to go out and bash each others' heads in," Brees said after the game, "we're all one voice."
Earlier in the day, DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, said he hoped a new collective bargaining agreement could be reached by November. The present CBA expires in March. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he expects talks to intensify.
"All we're hearing from ownership is they want to lock us out," Brees said.
The idea to show solidarity reportedly came from Vikings and Saints representatives. The question is: Will this catch on before every game, every national telecast?
September 10, 2010; 7:29 AM ET
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