Posts Tagged ‘NFL Players Association’

ESPN’s Rick Reilly Shoots Wide of Target With Ill-Informed Anti-Union Column

Yesterday ESPN columnist Rick Reilly published one of the most inaccurate attacks on unions that we’ve seen this year, which, if you follow workers’ rights, you know is saying something. Reilly clumsily sets forth the following argument: Golfers don’t have guaranteed income, which Reilly assumes means their pay is tied to sporting performance, which he likes. Professional golfers also don’t have a union, so in Reilly’s view this means that players unions in other sports are bad. In this case, Reilly’s claims about the PGA are erroneous, and his attack on players unions is flawed. Read more »


NFL Lockout means big losses for players—and their families

At the start of this year, we let you know that a lockout of NFL players would hurt more than just the athletes. We underscored that it would also threaten the jobs and livelihoods of countless workers and business owners who rely on the industry to support their families. Read more »


Entertainers and sports stars sound off in support of public employees

Earlier this week, we described how entertainers and sports stars – most union members themselves – have taken to Twitter, the blogosphere, and other mediums to express solidarity with workers in Wisconsin and states across the country who are fighting to protect their basic rights.

While it’s great to see the outpouring of celebrity support, the sheer volume of messages can make tracking difficult. So we’ve assembled a roundup of their tweets, posts, and statements to make their messages easier for workers’ rights supporters to access.

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Let Us Play, Let Us Work Panel Discusses NFL Lockout

Cross-posted from

Less than a week after the Super Bowl, the NFLPA and American Rights at Work met Thursday morning to discuss the economic impact of a lockout on the local economies around the country. Joining them were Ravens cornerback Chris Carr, former player Brian Mitchell, John Marler of UNITE HERE Local 24 and The Nation Sports Editor David Zirin.

“Despite every NFL team being profitable, record television revenues and a Super Bowl that now ranks as the highest rated show on television, owners are demanding the players take pay cuts and work longer, said Kimberly Freeman Brown, Executive Director of American Rights at Work.

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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 »


2010: A year-end roundup

The American Rights at Work blog team is about to close up shop for the holidays. But before we do, here’s a roundup of some of our favorite posts from 2010, from most to least recent. Happy Holidays! Read more »


Drew Brees: Model athlete and union member

Sports Illustrated just announced that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is the recipient of its 57th Sportsman of the Year award. In announcing the award, the magazine noted that the award recognizes Brees’s work on and off the field since coming to New Orleans in 2006. Along with leading the Saints to the team’s first Super Bowl win last year, Brees has played an instrumental role in helping New Orleans recover from the damage of Hurricane Katrina.

What you may not know about Drew Brees is that he is also an active union member – currently serving as a member of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) Executive Committee. In this role, he’s worked to educate the public about the owners’ threat to lockout the players and cancel next season, a callous grab for more money that will affect hundreds of thousands of workers in cities across the country. Read more »


Take action! Save local communities from a football lockout!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, which means for most American families a day of eating excessive amounts of turkey and pumpkin pie, then sitting in a food coma on the couch and watching football. I say most families because somewhere along the line, my family started the bizarre tradition of watching Fiddler on the Roof. We’re not normal.

Football is one of America’s most beloved pastimes. We have an entire culture built around watching it. But the NFL is ready to call a time-out and forbid players from hitting the field next season. Why? Because they want to completely eliminate ALL healthcare benefits for the athletes and their families, in addition to other ridiculous concessions. Read more »


Low blow: The NFL’s ugly plan to cut health care coverage during a lockout

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently announced that players would be responsible for any healthcare costs incurred during a league lockout. This kind of threat demonstrates the difficulties workers face in seeking a fair day’s pay—on and off the field.

A lockout occurs when an employer, not a union, decides to stop work. In doing so, the employer hopes to force employees into a more desirable bargaining position, usually one that requires employees to make concessions in their next contract. In the case of the NFL, the owners have hinted at the use of a lockout to force concessions from the players and their union, the NFL Players Association. Read more »