If the CBA vote had failed, Russell Okung‘s recent efforts against the NFL Players Association would have become moot. Given that the CBA vote succeed, Okung’s challenges remain relevant.
Last week, he filed a claim with the National Labor Relations Board accusing his own union of bad-faith practices. His claims need to be addressed, handled, and resolved.
Moreover, his decision to hire lawyer Peter Ginsberg suggests that litigation is coming. Some expected it to come before the vote was finalized. It didn’t. But it still could.
Whatever happens, Okung likely isn’t going away. Nor should he. Whatever the outcome, his claims deserve to be processed, the evidence gathered, a decision rendered.
Of course, he’ll need to have true standing to use the system to change the status quo. It will take a lot to undo a CBA, but he still can cause chaos for a union that ratified the agreement by only 60 votes. At a minimum, the razor-thin margin could make things dicey for the man who negotiated the deal, the next time his contract is up.
Okung’s efforts will play out as new NFLPA president JC Tretter tries to unify the union. Depending on how the union reacts to and handles the situation, Okung’s attack could get operate to get player leadership on the same page.