Posts Tagged ‘NFL Lockout’

Lockout’s End is a Victory for Workers

The long-awaited end of the NFL lockout wasn’t just good news for sports fans or fantasy football fanatics. The resolution of the owners’ lockout was welcome news for thousands of stadium employees and a powerful reminder of the benefits of workers standing together for respect and a voice on the job. Read more »

 

It all started with clean socks and jocks

Yesterday, American Rights at Work Executive Director Kimberly Freeman Brown and George Atallah, the NFL Players Association’ Assistant Executive Director for External Affairs, held a briefing call to discuss the implications of a lockout for all workers. Kim and George were joined on the call by a diverse group of non-labor organizations, coalitions, and think tanks, including: Center for American Progress , National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, Jobs with Justice, Military Saves, National Consumers League, Center for Economic and Policy Research, and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

George began the call by reminding the participants that while labeled an “association,” the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) is in fact a union. It was formed in 1956 with the rallying cry “clean socks and jocks,” in response to team owners refusing to provide clean uniforms. Ever since, the NFLPA has been fighting for many of the same workplace protections as workers in other industries—including health care, pensions, and safety on the job. And with the threat of a lockout looming, the NFLPA is standing with the hundreds of thousands of everyday workers – from the grounds crew in the stadium to the bell hops in the hotels – who would lose their jobs without a football season. Read more »

 

#LetUsPlay also means #LetUsWork

Today the NFL Players Association is taking to Twitter and Facebook to raise awareness about the owners’ threat to lockout the players and cancel the next season of football. Billed as #LetUsPlay Day, the event’s signature phrase reflects the players’ bargaining position – they’re just asking to continue under the terms of the previous contract, nothing more. It’s the owners who, despite major profits, want the players to take an 18 percent pay cut while playing more games each season.

Despite efforts by some to paint these negotiations as a dispute between millionaires and billionaires, the reality is that an NFL lockout will affect over 100 thousand everyday workers in cities across the country. Read more »

 

Professional sports: More than what meets the eye

On Monday, I attended a screening of Not Just a Game; People, Politics, and American Sports, a documentary based on Dave Zirin’s book A People’s History of Sports. The film asks a provocative question: Is there more to professional sports than athletic competition and entertainment? And is it important?

The answer Zirin provides is an unequivocal yes-there is much more to sports than meets the eye.

We all know the stories of people like Jackie Robinson; athletes who faced hate and obstruction to achieve first-time gains. But as the film makes plain, these individual improvements have been used to cloak the systematic inequalities and barriers that characterize professional sports, even today. Black athletes who call out societal injustices are pushed to the fringe of their sports. Women’s sports continue to see a decline in television coverage, separated from the more lucrative media markets that male athletes enjoy. Economic systems are put in place that reinforce an anti-worker, anti-union ideology in society more broadly.

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