Northwestern FB Players’ Union Sparks Outrage
On Tuesday, former UCLA linebacker Ramogi Huma - president of the National College Players Association - filed a petition in Chicago on behalf of Northwestern’s football players, beginning the process of those players potentially being recognized as unionized employees.
If recognized by the National Labor Relations Board, the new union would press for “better concussion and other medical protections, and for scholarships to cover the full cost of attendance,” according to Outside the Lines.
Sounds like a noble course of action, right? Well, not everyone who commented on the story at ESPN.com (granted, not the best place for intelligent discussion) felt that way.
Perhaps those folks should read what a current Wildcats football player had to say on the matter in a Tuesday Reddit comment on the story.
“This isn’t about getting paid. What it is about is protection. Many of us will have numerous injuries throughout our playing careers. A group of those players will continue to feel the effects of those injuries long after their playing days are over. The goal is to have some sort of medical protection if we need surgeries stemming from injuries sustained while playing for our university.
“Another goal is graduate school for those who were fortunate enough to play as a true freshman. Most student-athletes get redshirted in their first year, and receive one year of grad school payed for in their fifth year of eligibility. We feel as though it is fair to ask for the same investment from the university all around. It isn’t about getting an extra $200 a month for spending. We have our stipend, and if we budget correctly we are able to make it stretch for the month. Would it be nice to have some part of jersey sales or memorabilia sales? Absolutely. But that is not the goal as of right now.
“Just wanted to add in that I am extremely thankful for the opportunity I have been given to not only play football, but to attend a world class university such as Northwestern. It is an opportunity millions dream of having. We are treated well at Northwestern, but unfortunately that is not the case at many other schools. Hopefully we can create a voice for the players and clean up these issues.”
Makes perfect sense to us. Time will tell if the aforementioned angry commenters can come around to the same conclusion.