Earlier this week Daniel Wallach addressed the inquiries of the new NFL/NFLPA CBA on his sports law podcast, Conduct Detrimental. If you didn’t catch it in real-time, you don’t want to miss any part of this series where Wallach takes an in-depth look at how changes to the CBA will adversely impact disabled retired players including a view from the past that shows how both the NFL and NFLPA are reneging on their promises to Congress in regard to honoring determinations of the Social Security Administration.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/05/01/conduct-detrimental-podcast-shines-light-on-nfl-disability-issues/
Giuliana Mendiola alleges she and members of the women’s basketball team at the University of California-Riverside endured abuse and misogyny for years at the hand of the man entrusted to instead create an atmosphere where they all could develop their skills relevant to the sport..
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/04/27/giuliana-mendiolas-discrimination-complaint-demonstrates-college-athletics-askew-priorities/
It’s time to educate ourselves on certain aspects of the game that we have willfully or not, ignored up to that point. It’s time to be vocal in our support of the efforts of players for better labor conditions, more protection and benefits for instance. It’s time to let the leagues know that more is expected from them.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/04/22/fans-needed/
With little fanfare because of the coronavirus pandemic, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed SB20-123 into law on Friday, March 20. It is not only ineffective in regards to its stated intent but codifies into state law that athletes at Colo.’s colleges and universities are second-class citizens in comparison with other employees and students at the same institutions.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/04/08/colorados-nil-law-is-the-epitome-of-political-grandstanding/
There’s a saying, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” As people began to grapple with the realities of a pandemic and a world largely without sports, elite NBA/New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson announced that he’d cover the salaries of largely minimum wage venue workers while Gayle Benson, the owner of the Pelicans as well as the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, who is worth multiple billions compared to Zion’s single-digit millions remained silent. In contrast, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban almost immediately pledged to take care of the team’s hourly workers and began an initiative to provide daycare for the children of healthcare workers. He has also shown leadership in urging that people are not rushed back to work too quickly.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/03/27/the-covid-19-effect-when-people-show-who-they-are-believe-them/
Not long ago, the issue of player discipline loomed as a high-priority item for the NFLPA when it came time to negotiate the next collective bargaining agreement.
Between 2015 and 2017, the union was on the losing end of a string of federal court rulings – in cases involving Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson and Ezekiel Elliott – that reaffirmed the NFL commissioner’s broad disciplinary authority under Article 46 of the CBA, and made it decidedly more difficult for players to successfully challenge the commissioner’s disciplinary decisions in court.
In each of these high-profile cases, the federal courts upheld lengthy suspensions imposed by commissioner Roger Goodell for conduct which he deemed to be detrimental to the game (in the case of Brady), or a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy (in the cases of Peterson and Elliott), despite serious questions being raised as to the fairness of the league investigation and disciplinary proceedings. (Note: The Athletic is currently offering a free 90 trial subscription.)
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/03/27/deflategate-lessons-unlearned-player-discipline-under-new-cba-largely-unchanged/
Ed O’Neil left the N.F.L. four decades ago, and over the years he has spent less and less time following professional football. He joined the league in 1974 as a first-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions, and he learned last week that as part of the new, 10-year collective bargaining agreement, he and thousands of other former players will get bumps in their pensions. For O’Neil, who is 67 and began drawing on his pension three years ago, that could mean about $1,400 more per month.
But O’Neil, a retired football coach, is not celebrating. His son, Keith, a former linebacker who played four years with the Dallas Cowboys and the Indianapolis Colts, will see his N.F.L. disability payments decline, another provision of the new labor deal that stipulates that next year about 400 former players on total and permanent disability will see the amount they receive decline by the value of their Social Security disability benefits. Keith O’Neil, who received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder with psychotic episodes in 2010, will get $2,339 less per month.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/03/27/help-for-disabled-nfl-players-is-sacrificed-for-pension-deal/
(Originally published by New York Times on March 9) With just days to go before N.F.L. players vote on a 10-year labor agreement, one of the most influential members of its union’s executive committee has accused the staff of the N.F.L. Players Association of negotiating the proposed deal in bad faith.
Russell Okung, who has been vocal opponent of the proposed 10-year labor deal now before roughly 2,000 N.F.L. players, on Monday filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, the independent federal agency tasked with guarding employee rights.
The three-page filing accuses the N.F.L.P.A. staff, including its executive director, DeMaurice Smith, of forcing a vote on the deal over the objections of its executive committee, in violation of the union’s constitution. Okung also accused the union’s leadership of trying to muzzle him from speaking out about the lack of transparency with the executive committee about the negotiations with N.F.L. owners, which began last year.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/03/27/nfl-player-accuses-union-leaders-of-bad-faith-cbanegotiation/
“Hating labor and labor unions is America’s unofficial pastime. When a star athlete signs a multimillion-dollar contract, the talk radio lines explode with fans deconstructing the value of the deal, protecting the billionaire team owner’s money as if it were their own. Striking teachers immediately face the cries that they shouldn’t complain about their wages because they get the summers off. When football players, after years of providing entertainment for couch potatoes nationwide, sue their league for not disclosing the devastating health risks accompanied with the fame of stardom, those same fans, who bought the jerseys and asked for the autographs, turn coldly against their former heroes and say things like “Nobody put a gun to their head.” Americans expect workers to take what they get. If you don’t like it, leave. Or as they say in the NFL, next man up.” These are the opening lines of Howard Bryant’s essay entitled “What Colin Kaepernick Taught Us”, part of a collection of essays recently published in his latest literary masterpiece, his book Full Dissidence: Notes From An Uneven Playing Field. Labor talks and fights in regular life are not popular, especially when unions are involved, but the sentiment is exacerbated when it comes to people who play a game for a living, whose contracts and salaries (usually with numbers starting on six-figure step of the financial ladder) are being widely reported on and dissected in all forms of media by experts and fans alike: pro athletes.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/03/11/not-so-free-agency/
Having covered the NFL’s Disability Plan for going on four years, I’m well accustomed to seeing the litigation mitigation tactics used there, of revising Plan Documents with new language annually to close the “loopholes” in which a player prevailed in court, overturning the denial of his claim. Now it’s turning up in the CBA.
Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/03/09/dont-get-hurt-playing-under-the-proposed-cba/