Our union of professional football players stands firmly behind anyone who demands to be heard as a team. Every NFL player — past, present, and future — owes a debt of gratitude to our founders: Frank Gifford, Don Shula, Sam Huff and Norm Van Brocklin, who, in 1956, decided that they wanted to negotiate as a team with NFL owners over cleaner clothes, better work rules, better treatment of injuries and better health care. Our collective bargaining agreement today includes better pensions and benefits, safer practices, and injury protections because they fought for and won the ability to bargain and fight as one team.
If the NFLPA really wants to make a difference, it might start by no longer enabling the NFL’s end run around antitrust law by agreeing through collective bargaining to prohibit anyone from playing professional football until he’s more than three years removed from high school. Although venting a little righteous indignation the NCAA’s way doesn’t threaten any union member’s job, so there’s that.