Thursday, January 10, 2013

Apology day continued: Gary Bettman of the NHL

This apology exceeded my expectations. Gary Bettman, commissioner of the National Hockey League, in an announcement after the owners ratified a new collective bargaining agreement, apologized to all affected by the 113-day-long labor lockout. There was not a trace of defensiveness, and quite a bit of grace in Bettman's words. Of course, the NHL players and fans may not fully agree.

To the players, who were very clear they wanted to be on the ice, and not negotiating labor contracts, to our partners who support the league financially and personally, and most importantly to our fans, who love and have missed NHL hockey, I'm sorry.

I know that an explanation or an apology will not erase the hard feelings that have built up over the past few months, but I owe you an apology nevertheless. As commissioner of the National Hockey League, it sometimes falls upon me to make tough decisions that disappoint and occasionally anger players and fans. This was a long and extremely difficult negotiation, one that took a lot longer than anybody wanted. I know it caused frustration, disappointment, and even suffering to a lot of people who have supported the National Hockey League in many different ways. In the end, neither side got everything it wanted, and everyone lost in the short-term....

As I said, we know that no words of apology or explanation will soften the disappointment. I read the letters, followed the tweets, read the blogs. We have a lot of work to do. The National Hockey League has a responsibility to earn back your trust and support....

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