HRR is net of direct costs and expenses.
This is true, but the way you have stated it here could be misleading. The direct costs and expenses are very exclusive, for instance, the scouting department, FO, Coaches, Transportation, equipment, trainers, doctors, etc. are not netted from HHR. So all of that expense comes out of the owner's share. And it is 10s of millions of dollars.
My simplistic answer, players are both the employees and the resouces used to make the product. Most business would kill for the percentage of the gross that owners of professional sports teams get. That being said, they are assuming all the risk.
An easy comparison would be a Movie, where the Actors are both empoyees and the resources. Actors typically end up with about 10-20% of revenue depending on the movie. Occasionally it may go up as high as 30% for a movie built around a key star. But that would be rare.
They players cannot win this, IMO. Fans are not loyal to players, they are loyal to Logos, and the Owners are the Logos.