Want To Stop The NFL Lockout? The Sports Fans Coalition Is Here To Help

The following is a guest column from Brian Frederick, the Executive Director of the Sports Fans Coalition, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., fighting to ensure fans have a voice on policy issues affecting them. Frederick will write weekly on SB Nation about various issues fans care about, including how we can all get involved to make a difference in the decisions that alter the games we love.

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Want To Help Stop The NFL Lockout? The Sports Fans Coalition Is Here To Help

Sports fans are one of the largest consumer groups in America. Think about the amount of money that you and almost everyone you know spends on sports every year – from tickets to media to merchandise to fantasy to beer. Collectively, we spend billions. Not to mention the amount of time and energy we devote to sports.

Up until now, there has never been a major political movement of sports fans. Sports Fans Coalition is a nonprofit founded last year and based in Washington, D.C., which is fighting to give fans a voice on policy issues. This August, I was hired as its first executive director. (We were recently featured on the front page of the New York Times sports section.)

Sports Fans Coalition tackles things like media blackouts of games, high ticket prices and stadium construction. These issues affect sports fans everywhere, but because no one has ever organized sports fans into one voice, too often we end up with the short end of the stick.

Of course, organizing sports fans can be a bit like herding cats. But there are certain things we can all agree upon. For instance, if taxpayer funds go towards a stadium, games played there should not be blacked out on television and there should at least be a portion of affordable seats.

And without a doubt, we all can agree that we want to see the NFL in 2011. We’ve already invested our tax dollars into stadiums so we could keep the games going. However, without some serious noise from fans, a lockout threatens to disrupt some of, if not the whole season. If you’re enjoying watching, reading, and writing about this NFL season, imagine what it will be like with no season.

It’s not just owners v. players. It’s owners v. players v. fans. And we need to be loud and clear over the coming months – we will not accept a lockout.

We need your help to make sure that fans’ interests are represented in the coming months, especially with collective bargaining agreements soon expiring in every major sport. The fans can – and should – exert some pressure to keep the games going.

Stopping the lockout may seem impossible to some. But if you will it, it is no dream.

So the members of Sports Fans Coalition and SB Nation need to work together to tackle the very real threat to our nation’s favorite game. Sports Fans Coalition is the foremost advocate for sports fans in the halls of power and SB Nation is the premier sports blogging community in America.

In future columns, I’ll be breaking down the lockout and the BCS and blackouts and other issues that matter to all fans and telling you how to get involved. We will be launching a petition in the coming weeks and need all the signatures we can get. If you have something you’re concerned about (e.g. some issue that affects all fans), please email me.

In the meantime, please join Sports Fans Coalition and get ready to fight the lockout. In the history of sports, fans have never had as great an opportunity as now to join together to stick up for themselves.

We need to make some serious noise.

Brian Frederick is Executive Director of Sports Fans Coalition. You can join the Coalition here and email him at brian@sportsfanscoalition.org.

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