Russell Okung makes vague claim of bad-faith bargaining by NFL

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The NFL Players Association conducted the first day of their annual meetings on Sunday, four days before the window closes on voting for the new CBA. And Panthers tackle Russell Okung, the only known candidate (so far) for NFLPA president, has capped the day with a tweet that implies the NFL has violated the relevant labor laws regarding collective bargaining.

Okung has posted a document titled “Elements and Indicators of ‘Bad Faith’ Bargaining,” explaining that the federal National Labor Relations Board has the authority to explore whether that kind of conduct is occurring. The document lists various “elements and indicators” of bad-faith conduct.

However, there has been no allegation or indication that the NFL has done any of the things listed in the document, or that the league otherwise has acted in bad faith under the law. The mere suggestion of bad-faith bargaining overlooks the reality that the current CBA is the result of negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA, resulting in a proposed agreement that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has publicly said he is “proud” of.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFLPA has no idea what Okung (who is a member of the Executive Committee, which helped negotiate the deal on which players are voting) is referring to. And here’s the reality: Okung aspires to be the next president of the union. With the vote coming up on Tuesday, Okung needs to do something to get at least 17 members of the board of player representatives to eventually vote for him. Given that 17 members of the board already have voted for the CBA, it will be hard for Okung (who strongly opposes the deal) to muster the votes. His tweet, frankly, feels like a Hail Mary pass to get one or more reps to see things his way.

19 responses to “Russell Okung makes vague claim of bad-faith bargaining by NFL

  1. Ah yes, the tried and true fear campaign. Not facts, just floating fact free opinions that benefit him. I wonder where he learned that.

  2. The NFL is similar to America. If you don’t like it, I don’t think anybody’s going to stop you from leaving. It seems to me that some people blame the league, when their own representatives are the ones agreeing to everything. Blame them if you don’t like something. You’re paying them to negotiate with the league. If Okung thought he had a chance to be the next union president, those odds just went down to zero.

  3. Let’s not forget the awesome deal he self-negotiated with the Broncos a few years ago. Now THAT’s the kind of leader I want negotiating for me. /sarcasm off

  4. Given that there’s a strong likelihood that the CBA is going to pass, it’s really hard to argue that the NFL negotiated to try to prevent a deal.

  5. If the new CBA was popular would Okung be bragging about his part in creating it?

    Making his vague statement after determining which was the wind was blowing, doesn’t garner respect.

  6. Okung’s unsubstantiated flame throwing remarks solely serve his own interest and as such are immediately disqualifying. Perhaps he thinks the players are dumb enough to not see through his transparent attempt.
    If he were to ascend to power the carnage from a work stoppage would never be worth the diminished return for the players, past present and future. That is the reality.

  7. charliecharger says:
    March 8, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    The NFL is similar to America. If you don’t like it, I don’t think anybody’s going to stop you from leaving. It seems to me that some people blame the league, when their own representatives are the ones agreeing to everything. Blame them if you don’t like something. You’re paying them to negotiate with the league. If Okung thought he had a chance to be the next union president, those odds just went down to zero.

    ——————————————

    “If you don’t like it leave” that only works if there is a viable option to leave to. You can either make millions in the NFL or thousands in the XFL or CFL. (Or you can move to Canada and leave the US)

    This is why I don’t feel sorry for the concussion issues of millionaire players. The older guys didn’t know the risks so I think the NFL should step up and pay for their care, but these younger guys are paid for their risks today. Their other job prospects would be a substantial step backwards, and I only see a few of these guys walking away pursuing other job opportunities.

    Okung just trying to line his pockets a different way, can’t blame him for playing the political game.

  8. From a guy who negotiated his own contract without an agent or lawyer and from the reports I read at the time didn’t do so well at it.

  9. aj66shanghai says:
    March 8, 2020 at 9:01 pm
    17 out of…17 out of…?
    ——————————

    17 out of 32. Board of Players Association has 1 representative from each team.

  10. Turns out Okung was making the vague accusations against his own Union, the NFLPA. He wasn’t complaining about the NFL. He has, today, filed against the NFLPA for unfair practices.

    Trouble in the ranks……Ownership happy.

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