Non-NFL football players form advocacy group to represent player interests in leagues like the XFL

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MarkNelson
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Non-NFL football players form advocacy group to represent player interests in leagues like the XFL

Post by MarkNelson » Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:28 pm

Article by Greg Parks: Sportico: Non-NFL football players form advocacy group to represent player interests in leagues like the XFL

https://xflboard.com/news/sportico-non- ... e-the-xfl/

Sportico, the site that broke the news about Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital purchasing the XFL in bankruptcy, today featured an article about the formation of a player advocacy group aimed at representing non-NFL player interests in leagues like the XFL. With the closures of the AAF and XFL in mind, players want protections against being left in the lurch by leagues that don’t survive.

The NFL has its players union to collectively bargain for its members. While the newly-formed United Football Players Association is not a union, the hope of its founders is to work with secondary leagues to create a work environment in which the players have a say.

Among those leading the charge for the UFPA is Kenneth Farrow, a veteran of the Alliance of American Football who most recently played in the XFL with the Seattle Dragons. The AAF infamously shut down mid-season, leaving some players to find their own flights home. The XFL too shut down mid-season, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Players were left without much recourse after the league’s bankruptcy filing.

Don Povia, one of the key advisors to the UPFA, was quoted in the Sportico article as hoping to use the year-plus lead time before the XFL starts again in 2022 to work with the league’s management in setting forth policies with player interests in mind.

In previous incarnations of the XFL, players have lacked an organized voice. Pay scales, schedules, and safety protocols have been set by management without consulting any official body representing the players. Corey Vereen famously declined to play in the XFL in 2020 due to the lower salary than was expected. That apparent misunderstanding between the league and players/agents would be rectified if the numbers were negotiated alongside the UFPA.

Had either version of the XFL survived and thrived, the creation of a player’s union would’ve been inevitable. Pro wrestlers do not have a union. Vince McMahon, that industry’s leader, is currently under pressure from, among others, former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang for the perception that he has taken advantage of wrestlers due to a lack of union and for misclassifying his talent as independent contractors.

The existence of an entity tasked with looking out for player interests has taken on added importance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the MLB and NFL player’s associations waged public battles with their respective leagues to ensure the safety of its athletes prior to returning to the field. Even college football players showed strength in numbers by taking to social media in an attempt to get conferences on board with a 2020 season. The combination of the desire for safety amidst the coronavirus and players using their platforms to speak out about social justice issues gives athletes perhaps more power than ever before.

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Re: Non-NFL football players form advocacy group to represent player interests in leagues like the XFL

Post by 4th&long » Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:52 pm

MarkNelson wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:28 pm
Article by Greg Parks: Sportico: Non-NFL football players form advocacy group to represent player interests in leagues like the XFL

https://xflboard.com/news/sportico-non- ... e-the-xfl/

Sportico, the site that broke the news about Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital purchasing the XFL in bankruptcy, today featured an article about the formation of a player advocacy group aimed at representing non-NFL player interests in leagues like the XFL. With the closures of the AAF and XFL in mind, players want protections against being left in the lurch by leagues that don’t survive.

The NFL has its players union to collectively bargain for its members. While the newly-formed United Football Players Association is not a union, the hope of its founders is to work with secondary leagues to create a work environment in which the players have a say.

Among those leading the charge for the UFPA is Kenneth Farrow, a veteran of the Alliance of American Football who most recently played in the XFL with the Seattle Dragons. The AAF infamously shut down mid-season, leaving some players to find their own flights home. The XFL too shut down mid-season, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Players were left without much recourse after the league’s bankruptcy filing.

Don Povia, one of the key advisors to the UPFA, was quoted in the Sportico article as hoping to use the year-plus lead time before the XFL starts again in 2022 to work with the league’s management in setting forth policies with player interests in mind.

In previous incarnations of the XFL, players have lacked an organized voice. Pay scales, schedules, and safety protocols have been set by management without consulting any official body representing the players. Corey Vereen famously declined to play in the XFL in 2020 due to the lower salary than was expected. That apparent misunderstanding between the league and players/agents would be rectified if the numbers were negotiated alongside the UFPA.

Had either version of the XFL survived and thrived, the creation of a player’s union would’ve been inevitable. Pro wrestlers do not have a union. Vince McMahon, that industry’s leader, is currently under pressure from, among others, former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang for the perception that he has taken advantage of wrestlers due to a lack of union and for misclassifying his talent as independent contractors.

The existence of an entity tasked with looking out for player interests has taken on added importance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the MLB and NFL player’s associations waged public battles with their respective leagues to ensure the safety of its athletes prior to returning to the field. Even college football players showed strength in numbers by taking to social media in an attempt to get conferences on board with a 2020 season. The combination of the desire for safety amidst the coronavirus and players using their platforms to speak out about social justice issues gives athletes perhaps more power than ever before.
Are these people for real?

MarkNelson
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Re: Non-NFL football players form advocacy group to represent player interests in leagues like the XFL

Post by MarkNelson » Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:15 pm

Yes, I believe they are for real.

Advocating for players’ rights seems correct to me.

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Re: Non-NFL football players form advocacy group to represent player interests in leagues like the XFL

Post by 4th&long » Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:35 pm

MarkNelson wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:15 pm
Yes, I believe they are for real.

Advocating for players’ rights seems correct to me.
How many employees in the real world have a advocating group? These are professional short term employees, not factory workers. They are lucky if a new league makes it past yr 1. Putting demands on a new league with limited resources is one more kiss of death for a new league.

MarkNelson
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Re: Non-NFL football players form advocacy group to represent player interests in leagues like the XFL

Post by MarkNelson » Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:36 am

Not putting demands. Advocating for players rights.

That’s the way I see it.

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Re: Non-NFL football players form advocacy group to represent player interests in leagues like the XFL

Post by Tank55 » Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:24 am

I don't blame them. What happened to the AAF players was disgusting. From the outside, it looks like the XFL did a great job taking care of the players, but with a new ownership group, it would be naive to assume that would go down the same way.

With that being said, it's true that everyone needs to be mindful of how thin the margin of error already is for these leagues. When the NFL was trying to kill the USFL, one of the things they did was encourage unionization. Don't lose sight of the big picture.
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4th&long
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Re: Non-NFL football players form advocacy group to represent player interests in leagues like the XFL

Post by 4th&long » Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:49 am

Tank55 wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:24 am
I don't blame them. What happened to the AAF players was disgusting. From the outside, it looks like the XFL did a great job taking care of the players, but with a new ownership group, it would be naive to assume that would go down the same way.

With that being said, it's true that everyone needs to be mindful of how thin the margin of error already is for these leagues. When the NFL was trying to kill the USFL, one of the things they did was encourage unionization. Don't lose sight of the big picture.
I think we are on the same page here - but have question - what would an advocacy group do for AAF players in a business that ran out of money? They got paid for 8 games they played, got real tape and basically they got what they needed out of AAF in the end. But even if they didn't what can you do in that situation that any company would be diff?

Now I can see a more or less Self-Help group to f=provide guidance on how to handle life events related to FB.

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Re: Non-NFL football players form advocacy group to represent player interests in leagues like the XFL

Post by GDAWG » Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:07 pm

So would these players still be a part of this group if they signed with the NFL or CFL, both of which have players unions?

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Tank55
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Re: Non-NFL football players form advocacy group to represent player interests in leagues like the XFL

Post by Tank55 » Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:19 pm

4th&long wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:49 am
I think we are on the same page here - but have question - what would an advocacy group do for AAF players in a business that ran out of money?
This is out of my depth, but I'm imagining being organized ahead of time would put them in a better position to be legally represented in a similar situation. Or perhaps more likely, would ensure ahead of time that the players wouldn't be on the hook for hotel rooms if the league goes under.

But I'd be interested in a more educated answer to the question as well.
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Re: Non-NFL football players form advocacy group to represent player interests in leagues like the XFL

Post by GregParks » Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:48 pm

A number of former XFL players have come out on Twitter in support of the UFPA today, including Evan Rodriguez, BJ Daniels, John Santiago, Anthony Johnson, and others. All of the Tweets are the same, so it seems to be the verbiage UFPA wants those who support it to use.
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