National Football League Players Association

National Football League Players Association

National Football League Players Association
Jim VanHatten
HRM 531
July 25, 2012
Sandra Akbar

National Football League Players Association
This is a paper discussing the effects of the union on the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA).   Specifically, four topics will be addressed – the benefits of joining a union, the unionization process, how the union bargains, and the effects union bargaining has on the NFLPA.
NFLPA’s Benefits of Joining a Union
The initial reasons for beginning to unionize were to get paid for playing in exhibition games and filing lawsuits against the NFL.   Players were not paid to play in exhibition games.   In addition, in 1946, National Football League (NFL) owners created a rule that banned players for 5 years if he switched leagues to the new All-America Football Conference (AAFC).   Players still switched leagues for increased salaries.   After switching leagues, Bill Radovich was banned by the NFL and filed the first lawsuit against the NFL with the help of Creighton Miller.   More on this lawsuit later.   Miller, a former player and current lawyer, helped form the NFLPA in 1956.   Miller fought for minimum salaries, league paid uniforms and equipment, and medical benefits.   Throughout the years, the NFLPA has fought for these and additional benefits like better health insurance including dental, pensions, revenue sharing, free agency, etc.
The Unionization Process
The process of unionization took some time for the NFLPA.   The initial attempts started in 1943 when Roy Zimmerman refused to play without being paid.   He was subsequently traded to another team.   As mentioned above, in 1946, NFL owners banned league transfers.   The NFLPA was actually formed when two players from Cleveland contacted Creighton Miller.   Miller played football at Notre Dame before becoming a lawyer.   In 1956, 11 out of 12 teams in the league announced the creation of the NFLPA.   This initial group included legendary football names like...

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