About four months ago, the Miami Dolphins were reportedly prepared to offer Jim Harbaugh $8 million per year to take over as their new head coach, and the organization would likely have had to pay out a portion of the remaining $2.5 million on Tony Sparano's salary to complete that chain of events.
So, at one point, the Dolphins had an extra $10 million lying around for the 2011 season. Now, they're slashing the salaries of the lowest-level employees by up to 20 percent until the lockout is over. In the same breath, ownership is citing a lack of ticket sales for their reasoning to slash salaries.
As you can imagine, morale in Miami is extremely low.
The Dolphins' ownership group — which is led by Stephen Ross and includes celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Jimmy Buffett, Gloria Estefan, Fergie and Venus and Serena Williams — has embarrassed itself with this one. It's a total copout, and the millionaires and billionaires are using the lockout and ticket sales as a way to screw over the hardworking thousandaires who rely on that money to pay their mortgage and feed their kids, rather than expenses for their next concert tour or gas for their yacht in South Beach.
I get it. Owners aren't making as much money during the lockout — which is their own fault, to an extent — and they need to implement cutbacks to help their bottom line. It's happening throughout the league, reportedly with a dozen teams and the NFL league office in New York.
It just looks really bad when the pay cuts are coming from an ownership group that is lined with an arsenal of international pop sensations who were brought on board for the sole purpose of boosting the Dolphins' marketability and, you guessed it, ticket sales. That, obviously, and the highly publicized January courting of Harbaugh.
We can bitch and moan and prod and joke about the lockout all we want. It's about to enter its third month, so there's been plenty of time to run through the gauntlet of emotions.
But now that real people — the 9-to-5ers of the world — are taking a direct hit, the lockout has reached a more serious level. It shouldn't have come to this, especially in Miami, where the faces of the ownership group consistently fill the pages of tabloids wearing clothes that are worth more than their employees' annual salaries.
Should owners cut the salaries of lower-level employees during the lockout? Leave your thoughts below.