Russell Okung does the right thing with NLRB filing

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Regardless of whether his claim with the National Labor Relations Board does or doesn’t have merit, Panthers tackle Russell Okung (No. 76 in the photo) did the right thing by taking his issues with the NFL Players Association out of the shadows and into the light of day.

It was clear that something far deeper than agreement-to-disagree on the terms of a labor deal had been going on, and now that Okung officially has made his allegations of bad-faith activity by NFLPA leadership, the deeper issues can be hashed out with both sides producing whatever evidence they may have to support their respective positions.

And the players, who may have believed that a “no” vote on the proposed CBA was nothing more than a middle finger to the owners, will realize that voting against the deal amounts to voting against NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and outgoing (as of today) NFLPA president Eric Winston. Ideally, voters would have had that kind of clarity from the moment voting opened five days ago; perhaps this balances out the fact that players didn’t receive a side-by-side comparison of the new CBA to the existing CBA from the NFLPA until Monday, the same day Okung’s complaint came to light.

Okung, one of the candidates for Winston’s position, probably didn’t help his campaign by taking aim at union leadership, but there wasn’t a strong belief that he could ever get 17 votes from the board of player representatives, given that 17 of them already have voted for the CBA that Okung so staunchly opposes. Indeed, it’s possible that Okung pivoted to the more public effort to clean house only after realizing his more subtle plan wasn’t going to work. Either way, it’s good that the players (and everyone else) now know where he stands.

However things play out, the NFLPA finds itself plunged into a rare state of chaos as voting continues on the new CBA, with Okung intent on blowing up the deal — and blowing out union leadership — whether through the office of the union presidency or through any available legal means (and the NLRB filing quite possibly will be followed at some point with a lawsuit). Whether Okung is right or wrong, every member of the union definitely now knows where he stands.

19 responses to “Russell Okung does the right thing with NLRB filing

  1. Even unions of rich people have their problems. Popcorn type stuff. Win/lose or draw, the NFLPA will have some serious fractures, if not outright disintegration.

  2. Wasn’t there a post yesterday saying over 1000 players had already voted?

    You knew something was up when an ambulance chaser lawyer reviewed a 459 page document for FREE and not surprisingly found it the worst legal document he ever read.

    Followed by a public filing with the NLRB board amounts to quite the PR campaign to sabotage the deal.

    I hope the CBA passes but if it doesn’t I don’t want to hear this site supporting the players in their fight for more wages because the 80% of the league who would’ve benefitted immensely from this deal would’ve voted against their own self-interest. People who vote to give the top 10% all their money deserve what they get.

  3. I would love to know why he is so intent on blowing up something that has the ability to make him more money as well. I keep trying to figure out why those few players are so against it? They are already getting paid.

  4. He had plenty of time to file charges yet he waits until the last minute in an effort to muddy the waters because he wants to be President . If you truly believe that he’s doing what’s best for the players instead of making a self serving gesture you have achieved a level of naivety that is almost impossible to believe .

  5. This guy is a tool. Look at the guys who have been outspoken and coming out against the CBA. They are the stars. The prima donnas. Sherman,Watt,Rodgers,Wilson,etc. Don’t you find that suspicious?
    I’m for the CBA because it feels like it works for the little guy and not for the pampered ego maniac who is acting like a diva.

  6. It looks like the CBA could pass. If this passes and Okung winds up getting elected, I can guarantee you this guy will be working for a strike within the next 2 years. He’s a loose cannon. I always think it’s a bad idea for the really highly paid players to be in charge of this, a guy like Winston was barely hanging on for the past 5 years and he had the lowest paid players in his mind.

  7. Seems like most of the guys against the agreement are either: 1) Used to getting their way or 2) Always complaining that they are being disrespected. Neither are used to a traditional business negotiation where both sides have to give a little to get a deal.

  8. Where is the PROOF that owners “negotiated in bad faith”? For you, FLorio, to say Okung did the right thing intimates that there is PROOF – yet, YOU do not even seem to care if there is evidence of this. Why not?

  9. “now that Okung officially has made his allegations of bad-faith activity by NFLPA leadership, the deeper issues can be hashed out with both sides”
    ______________

    Not sure how that is supposed to happen. Okung’s claim is that the union constitution prohibits sending any deal along to the players for vote without the executive committee’s approval. If that is actually in there (it isn’t, btw) then they would have violated their own constitution and would have to start over again. If it isn’t in there then Okung either totally misunderstood what the constitution says or willfully misrepresented things for his own gain. Either way, there is no room to compromise or hash things out on this.

  10. Demaurice Smith single-handedly screwed the players over in the last CBA and Okung waited until this late in the new CBA process to bring it up? Smith should’ve been voted out from his position minutes after the last bad CBA deal was signed, but we all know that players only care about money and keeping a terrible negotiator like Smith confirms that fact. Unfortunately for Okung, it’s way too late to appoint anyone else, so he’s gonna have to deal with whatever the owners offer once again.

  11. It’s funny to me how some fans are either for or against this CBA. You haven’t read it and you aren’t a lawyer. Can’t just take what’s reported without considering the source.

  12. I agree with savethebs….

    And will again express amazement that the majority of fans on this forum, based on the comments and up/down votes, support the billionare owners over the players.

    The players are the working guys…yes, they get paid a lot more than most of us but that’s because they have very valuable skills. And they put their bodies on the line while the owners sit in their boxes.

    But still, the fans support the owners for the most part. Why? Other than racism? And I’m white, btw.

  13. danimal1974 says:
    March 10, 2020 at 1:48 pm
    I agree with savethebs….

    And will again express amazement that the majority of fans on this forum, based on the comments and up/down votes, support the billionare owners over the players.

    The players are the working guys…yes, they get paid a lot more than most of us but that’s because they have very valuable skills. And they put their bodies on the line while the owners sit in their boxes.

    But still, the fans support the owners for the most part. Why? Other than racism? And I’m white, btw.
    ——————————————————————————————–
    Don’t think you really have an understanding of what non-athletes that work for a living deal with thjat impacts their feelings towards NFL players . People who work for barely enough money to eke out a living have a hard time feeling sorry for players that at the very least make $510,000 . People who work 50-60 hrs per week or multiple jobs have a hard time feeling sorry for players who think 17 game is too hard . People who are forced to work nights or weekends with no time for their families have a hard time feeling sorry for players who think it’s too hard to show up for some workouts in the summer even if they get a bonus to do so . I could go on but hopefully you get the idea . It’s has absolutely nothing to do with racism which I have no idea on how you came up with that . It’s simply working class people who see NFL players complain when even the lowest paid is making making more money in a year then most of them do in a decade . It’s players who have made tens of millions of dollars complain they are mistreated that offend people who are truly mistreated in the workplace while making very little money . Working people have no sympathy for players who have the chance to make huge money while being treated like a king whining how hard they have it when they compare to the struggles they deal with each and every day . I don’t think most fans think that highly of the owners either but they also don’t hear owners complain how hard their rich and famous lifestyle is like you do from so many players .

  14. Why doesn’t the union vote for a new president,say…3 years before a new CBA ? Or 2 years ?
    As we can see, the new president of the NFLPA wants to change language in the contract that has been negotiated between the players and the owners.
    I think if the votes are against ratification, and the new union president wants to change the deal, the union will suffer.

  15. danimal1974 says:
    March 10, 2020 at 1:48 pm
    I agree with savethebs….

    And will again express amazement that the majority of fans on this forum, based on the comments and up/down votes, support the billionare owners over the players.

    The players are the working guys…yes, they get paid a lot more than most of us but that’s because they have very valuable skills. And they put their bodies on the line while the owners sit in their boxes.

    But still, the fans support the owners for the most part. Why? Other than racism? And I’m white, btw.

    ———————————————-
    The owners care about the long term health of the NFL and providing the best experience for the fans. The players care about money. Why should I care if some multimillionaire adds another million to their bank account? It does nothing for the fans. The owners built the NFL into the biggest (and best) sport in America. They know what’s best. Players come and go and the ratings keep going up. That means the players are largely irrelevant due to being replaceable. The last thing any NFL fan should want is the league to turn into the NBA: where the players dictate everything.

    FYI: The player empowerment league, the NBA, had seen its ratings crater over the past 5 seasons. Why? The players have too much power and force their way into large markets to play with their friends, so nobody in middle America watches or cares about the league (and the Knicks suck, so nobody in NYC watches either).

  16. “I hope the CBA passes but if it doesn’t I don’t want to hear this site supporting the players…”
    =======

    Don’t matter what you or anyone else wants, Florio is staunch union supporter, he partculalry favors DeMaurice Smith.

  17. bigjdve says:

    March 10, 2020 at 7:58 am

    I would love to know why he is so intent on blowing up something that has the ability to make him more money as well. I keep trying to figure out why those few players are so against it? They are already getting paid.
    ———
    I’d say because it doesnt really have a chance to make him more money imo as it’s the bottom minimum players getting a pay raise and an 3xtra roster spot. For guys like him and Rodgers I’d guess their issues are pretty close to the same, their looking at the physical toll of a 17th game and what little their personally(and guys in their pay tier currently) are going to receive in return for it.

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