Every so often, I talk with an employee who has been treated badly by his employer, but for whom there is no lawsuit available. S/he has no discrimination claim. The employee is simply treated unfairly, for which there is no remedy in Texas. So, I typically tell such clients they should form a union if they want fair treatment in the workplace. They look back at me like I had just told them they should take a vacation on the moon.
Well, some football players at Northwestern University have accepted that advice. A group of players at Northwestern have filed papers with the Chicago office of the National Labor Relations Board seeking recognition as a union. An organization known as the National College Players Association is helping the players with the process. The Northwestern quarterback, Kain Colter, reached out to the NCPA for help last Summer. Mr. Colter says the problem is not Northwestern. Its the NCAA. The NCAA is a dictatorship and the players want a seat at the table, says the quarterback.
Of course, a critical issue will be whether the players are "employees" or student athletes. To form a union under the National Labor Relations act, the football layers must be employees. In various games this past football season, players on several teams wore arm bands that said "#APU." APU stands for All Players United. See ESPN news report. I doubt any forum is ready to find that athletes are employees. But, some players want to be heard on issues that affect them.