Pittsburgh Power win their third game of the season due to forfeit


The Power wanted to come out of Quicken Loans Arena with their third win of the season, but this likely was not the way that they wanted it.

The Power have been through a strike before this season, as many remember due to the entire team being fired at an Olive Garden, however this time it was part of the Cleveland Gladiators that went on strike.

Enough of the team stood against the Arena Football League for the forfeit to occur. When the Power had their strike in week one against the Orlando Predators, they had replacement players that made the trip and were ready and available. This was not the case with the Gladiators.

“Despite many offers from the League, a group of players with the Cleveland Gladiators have opted to go on strike,” AFL Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz said in an AFL statement. “Because of the circumstance at hand, the Cleveland Gladiators have forfeited the matchup.”

According to Jerry DiPaola of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, who made the trip to Cleveland, the Power were suited up and ready to go, and Head Coach Derek Stingley said that the players were ready to play.

Dennis Manoloff of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland also wrote about the strike and used Gladiators backup quarterback Matt Bassuener as his main source.

“I don’t think we’re going to play tonight,” Bassuener said to The Plain Dealer at 5:10 PM. “I don’t think it can happen. Obviously, there were negotiations between our attorneys and their attorneys this morning. We heard we might get calls. Then, our president came to meet with us and said that if anything hadn’t been worked out by 2, it’s actually going down.”

Manoloff also had a specific timetable and at 6:10 PM, less than two hours before gametime and the Power players were still left in the dark.

“We don’t know anything other than, we’re supposed to play tonight,” Power receiver Randy Hymes said to Manoloff. “We’re getting ready for a game. We haven’t interacted with any of the Gladiators players. They have not told us a thing.”

At 7:15 The Plain Dealer discovered that the Gladiators did not go after replacement players meaning it appeared that the team had struck and would forfeit the game.

Hymes was quoted one more time by Manoloff. The quote was about his reaction to the strike, having been through one already this season.

“Our guys wouldn’t have bought into it, because what happened the first time was ugly,” Hymes said. “I would have told (the Gladiators), ‘Do what you do best — play football.’ Hopefully, the Gladiators will come to grips with the fact that God blesses you to play this game. And they need to think about the fans. The fans are expecting a game tonight, and if it’s not played, you risk turning a lot of them off.”

Kurz also said that the remainder of the regular and post season are not “in jeopardy”.

The Power will play next Saturday against the Milwaukee Mustangs at Consol Energy Center. Kickup will be at 7:30 PM.


Here is the statement from the AFL Players Union on behalf of the Cleveland Gladiators. It was made before their scheduled 8 PM kickoff against the Power.

“It is with sadness that the players of the Cleveland Gladiators need to inform our fans that, unless the AFL reaches a last minute agreement with the Arena Football League Players Union this afternoon, our entire roster will be participating in an Unfair Labor Practices strike and will not be playing in tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Power.

If we are forced into this action tonight it’s important to note that it will not have been caused over the current situation of our wages. As an act of reaching out to find common ground the Union has decided to all but take finances out of the discussion for the time being and instead focus on other pressing issues. The AFLPU has actually recently offered a one-year interim agreement that would result in a net reduction in player compensation for this season from an offer already made by the league previously.

Since our union became certified 11 months ago we’ve worked tirelessly to reach a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the League. Throughout that time the AFL has shown a complete unwillingness to negotiate in good faith. The Union has yet to receive a single piece of relevant financial information from the League through which to base our proposals. Our players would be striking tonight as a show of support for those players and Union brothers from the Pittsburgh Power who were bullied, threatened, terminated, and abandoned 1000 miles from home and locked out of their apartments—all simply for being in the Union.

The agreement we’re currently seeking from the League consists of nothing more than principally non-financial items that would help protect our safety on the field, and solidify our Union’s ability to negotiate as partners to the league. The MLS, AHL, WNBA, CHL, and ECHL are all examples of professional sports leagues in this country (in addition to the major four) whose athletes are represented by Unions that have successfully partnered with their leagues to negotiate Collective Bargaining Agreements. Especially considering the extreme danger associated with our game, we feel the Arena Football League should be no different.

We all love every single fan of the Cleveland Gladiators. Your passion and dedication allows us to do what we love. The added interaction that comes from playing in arenas lets us develop personal relationships with many of you. We sincerely hope the League accepts our Union’s agreement, so we can go back to focusing on putting on a great show for you all tonight.”

The following is the statement on the Cleveland Gladiators website:

“The Gladiators care deeply about our fans and are doing everything in our control to play games and continue competing for wins on the field. That will always be our top priority and focus. Unfortunately, the players decided to withhold their services so that tonight’s game was not possible to be played. The League is focusing all of their efforts to resolve the labor situation with the players and we know the collective goal is a deal that is fair for both the players and the teams, while also being good for the game and our fans.”

Some Power fans made the trip by bus to Cleveland as part of the Power’s roadtrip to Cleveland. Fans paid $40 to make the trip and with the forfeit, the Power were in an awkward position. According to fellow Power writer Dominic Errico, one of the fans said that Power Co-Owner Lynn Swann has given the fans wall tickets for the next home game.