NFL Player Accuses Union Leaders of Bad Faith CBA Negotiation

Russell Okung CBA NLRB NFLPA

Russell Okung, an offensive lineman who was recently traded to Carolina, said that the proposed collective bargaining agreement should not have been sent to the full membership to vote because the deal was rejected twice by a majority of the executive committee.Credit…Harry Aaron/Getty Images

(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/

Not So Free Agency

not so free agency

“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.

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Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/03/11/not-so-free-agency/

Don’t get hurt playing under the proposed CBA

NFL NFLPA CBA MRSA

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.

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Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/03/09/dont-get-hurt-playing-under-the-proposed-cba/

CBA Part 3: A look at Pensions w/o Parity and the Hospital Network

Let's Make a CBA Deal NFL NFLPA Roger Goodell

This week NFL Players are faced with the daunting and unenviable task of accepting or rejecting a new 10-year CBA and electing a new president. Thus far the only player to announce a run at the presidency is former Chargers left tackle Russell Okung who was traded to the Carolina Panthers this week.
Okung is an extremely smart, well-informed, reform-oriented player who staunchly opposes the proposed CBA that owners seem almost desperate to shove down players’ throats. In a New York Times article, Ken Belson relates that Okung is ready to “disrupt the NFL establishment,” and this is precisely what needs to happen if players are ever going to be seen as a partner instead of a product that views them as wind-up toys for the owners’ profit and pleasure.

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Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/03/08/cba-part-3-a-look-at-pensions-w-o-parity-and-the-hospital-network/

NFL Owners Demand 17 Games Yet Slash Disability

NFL CBA Disability

Injuries are an unfortunate reality in the NFL. Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has been quoted as saying in support of ACA and in opposition to Workers’ Compensation scale-backs that all NFL players will leave the game with preexisting conditions. In view of that, it’s puzzling as to why he finds the proposed CBA that will leave many who wind up disabled acceptable and has even gone so far as to recommend it despite a 7-4 vote by the Executive Committee against.
In Part I of my series on the CBA, I explained how Article 39 will essentially strip players of their right to sue in the same vein as the waiver Colin Kaepernick refused to sign prior to a league arranged workout.

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Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/03/08/nfl-owners-demand-17-games-yet-slash-disability/

NFL’s Plan to Divide and Conquer is Clear in Proposed CBA

NFL NFLPA CBA Divide and Conquer Roger Goodell DeMaurice Smith

Whether you speak of a nation or football league, class warfare is a lethal weapon when deployed effectively.  For the past 10 years, the NFL has game planned and executed that plan through the CBA now up for voting by NFLPA members. The strategy is simultaneously brilliant and despicable.  In my view, they’ve managed to lock players into a chess match against the devil with life-and-death consequences for those who are left behind.  The provisions contained in the proposed agreement have gone so far as not only dividing active membership but also retired players, pitting the needs of one group of players against the needs of his alumni brothers.

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Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/03/06/nfls-plan-to-divide-and-conquer-is-clear-in-proposed-cba/

Attorney Goes on Offense Against NFL’s Spotty Misrepresentations in Gordon Case

leopards in the court

The NFL has shown time and again that it’s a leopard that never changes its spots. In response to an appeal by a nine-year defensive lineman who was diagnosed with severe dementia at the young age of 33, the NFL has continued to repeat the same numbing refrain that it has for the better part of three years in its quest to stop dementia claims in their tracks, especially the claims of younger players, whom the NFL doesn’t want to admit are damaged, nor does it want to pay the high-dollar awards that younger claimants qualify for.

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Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/03/02/attorney-goes-on-offense-against-nfls-spotty-misrepresentations-in-gordon-case/

Nobody Can Teach You How to Be Famous

Antonio Brown-Fame

Everybody is trying to make sense out of what’s going on lately with Antonio Brown but I think the explanation is pretty simple: nobody teaches guys from the ‘hood how to be famous.

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Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/03/02/nobody-can-teach-you-how-to-be-famous/

Be in the know with the Blitz

This week in addition to our regular Blitz sports law digest we have a special Blitz focused exclusively on the NFL/NFLPA CBA.

The Blitz

We’ve compiled the most unique, impactful and compelling sports law stories for you in one digest counting down the Top Ten Stories of the Week.

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The Blitz - NFL/NFLPA CBA Special Edition

The NFL/NFLPA Blitz Special Edition brings you up to speed on everything related to the proposed CBA.

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Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/03/01/be-in-the-know-with-the-blitz/

Cross Summary Judgment Motions Filed in USWNT Labor Dispute

USWT pay tug

The US Soccer Federation continues to spend money on maintaining its misogyny and protecting its privilege instead of using those same funds to compensate the members of the United States Women’s National Team equitably. The latest incarnation of that is a petition for summary judgment from federal District Judge R. Gary Klausner.

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Permanent link to this article: https://advocacyforfairnessinsports.org/2020/02/29/cross-summary-judgment-motions-filed-in-uswnt-labor-dispute/

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