Oh, noes! Chris Conley is one of them.
If not a union supporter, at least a union sympathizer. And a thoughtful one, at that. (No surprise there.)
Georgia senior receiver Chris Conley is a student representative to the NCAA, so he’s well-educated on the issue. Given his position, Conley has tried to provide more of an informational role to his teammates, explaining the situation and possible ramifications.
“There’s a lot of misunderstanding from people,” Conley said. “It’s not just a money issue. And I think that’s what the people on the outside think: ‘Aw athletes are just trying to get paid, they need to calm down with this. It’s an issue that applies to so many other things with student athletes: Time constraints, health, concussions, a bunch of stuff.”
Player injuries are another matter that a union could help.
“I know they do a great job of it here (at Georgia), but there’s no mandate for it across the board with institutions, and how they deal with injuries, when players leave, and ailments that they have,” Conley said. “That’s a big issue that’s on the table. Quite frankly student-athletes want to know that they’re going to be taken care of after they’ve committed so much to a university. They think a university or the NCAA should look after their interests.”
Conley emphasized that he doesn’t know if a union is the right mechanism to fight for student-athletes’ rights. But he called it a “step forward.”
All the players that have spoken out about this – Conley, Ramik Wilson, Jordan Jenkins and Amarlo Herrera are quoted in the article – I’m curious about something. Those of you who are vehemently opposed to what Seth refers to as “student-athlete rights”, will this sort of talk color your perception of these players? Will you find it harder to root for them because you know the stance they’ve taken?
This shouldn’t be taken as mockery. I’ve read a number of comments that players getting paid means the end of fans’ love of the game. Isn’t this kind of a midway point to that?