Mar 16, 2020 2:35 AM

NFL players OK labor deal, including 17-game season

Posted Mar 16, 2020 2:35 AM

By BARRY WILNER
AP Pro Football Writer

By a close vote, NFL players have approved a new labor agreement with the league that features a 17-game regular season.

It also includes higher salaries, increased roster sizes and larger pensions for current and former players.

The deal runs through the 2030 season. It was accepted by the 32 team owners last month.

Ratification by membership of the NFL Players Association required a simple majority. There could be lasting resentment among union members, given how close the vote was.

Soon after the union announced the results, it began discussing with the league Wednesday's planned opening of the 2020 NFL business season. A delay is possible given league restrictions on travel as a safeguard against the new coronavirus.

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Mar 16, 2020 2:35 AM
Royals leadership issues letter in wake of COVID-19

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A letter sent Sunday from Kansas City Royals leadership concerning the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak:

To our Kansas City Royals family:

In these extraordinary times, we hold the health and safety of our families, teammates, friends and neighbors as our top priority.  We know that sports, while deeply embedded in our lives, should never stand in the way of the greater good.

Watching fans come through the gates at Spring Training this week as vendors set up and players prepared to take the field -- only to learn that the game would be cancelled in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) -- is a scene none of us will ever forget.  But there can be no question it was the precisely right decision by Commissioner Manfred and Major League Baseball, insuring that the first priority was and will continue to be the health and well-being of fans, players and staff alike.

This week’s announcement has created questions around games and tickets and schedules, and we’re committed to answering all of those as soon as we are able. To that end, you can find preliminary answers to some of those questions here.

Members of our organization, along with medical experts from The University of Kansas Health System, and government officials from the city and county will continue to work diligently to create, implement  and communicate policies and practices aimed at the safety and health of our players, fans and staff when baseball returns.

Finally, we’re committed to using our voice to support and serve our community.  So in addition to the steps above, at this intensely challenging time for our community and our country, we’re actively working to develop programs that help support Greater Kansas City outside of the ballpark. 

Watch for us.  This may be a time for “social distancing,” but rest assured that we will be reaching out to you and our community in meaningful, safe and energized ways that represent the best of our Kansas City spirit. 

We will persevere through this, and when we get to the other side, we will come back together in the setting we love most.  In the meantime, we all have an important part to play, from the personal responsibility of knowing and following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and our local health officials, to actively helping the most vulnerable among us.

We’re proud to be part of this great Kansas City region, where people come together to solve problems and lift each other up. We appreciate your partnership as we work together to face this challenge, and remain #AlwaysRoyal.