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John Mara: Time to get back to negotiations

File photo of Giants owner John Mara.

File photo of Giants owner John Mara. Credit: Howard Schnapp

John Mara believes the current labor stalemate will be solved only one way: at the bargaining table.

In a piece authored by the Giants owner that's been posted on the team's web site as well as, he made a plea to get back to negotiations, explaining the league is suffering with each day added to the months-old lockout.

"The solution lies at the bargaining table," Mara wrote. "Everyone should realize what is at stake, especially in this economy. Right now, fans are caught in the middle listening to rhetoric and legalese they don't want to hear. That is why, as ownership and players, we must recognize our shared responsibility as stewards of the game to compromise and reach a fair agreement -- one that highly compensates players, protects their health and safety, ensures the on-field competitiveness of 32 teams, helps retired players, and improves the fan experience and fan value.

"The best way to get there is to let both sides exercise their labor law rights. The current ball of confusion needs to become a football season, pronto; the kind of football season that NFL fans have grown to love and that has made our sport so popular."

As for the lockout itself, Mara wrote it was something the owners had to do.

"The NFL's goal then and now was never a work stoppage," Mara wrote. "We locked out the players this year only after they walked away from negotiations and sued. A strike or lockout is a last resort to force a resolution. Our end-game has always been a balanced collective bargaining agreement that helps us grow and improve the game."

But right now, at a time when OTAs would normally be in full force and minicamps right around the corner, both sides find themselves wrapped up in courtroom battles from D.C. to Minnesota, and soon, St. Louis.

"NFL fans are not hearing much about football these days," Mara wrote. "Instead, they are hearing about litigation, mediation, the lockout, the Norris-LaGuardia Act, injunctions, appeals, and stays.

"Fortunately, there is time to get back on track. We need to resolve our differences with the players at the bargaining table, start the 2011 season on time, and set a positive course for the future of our great game."

New York Sports