College Athletes Are ‘Employees,’ Says NU Football Players’ Attorney. What’s Next?


Northwestern Glove

As a National Labor Relations Board hearing begins in Chicago over whether or not Northwestern University’s football can unionize, the lawyer representing the player kicked off with the following statement:

“For too many years, college athletes have been exploited and have been denied their rights as employees,” attorney John G. Adam said during a news conference following opening statements before a National Labor Relations Board hearing officer about whether the football players should be considered employees. He said basketball players are ripe for making the same argument. [Emphasis added.]

Apparently, the $40,000 to $50,000 per year free scholarships and other perks is ‘exploitation’ in the eyes of Mr. Adam.

This novel legal theory that college football (and basketball) players are employees poses some interesting questions.

Why stop there? Why not move all the way down the college sports pyramid?

Why not the baseball, lacrosse, and volleyball players too?

And, of course, those who are the lease paid in the college sports pyramid…the cheerleaders.

Aren’t they the most exploited of all?

Why not allow them to be classified as employees as well?

Northwestern Cheerleader

Should college football players be unionized?

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  1. Funny you should bring up the cheerleaders, seeing as how the actual cheerleaders for several NFL teams are suing over exploitive conditions. So yes, if the cheerleaders want a slice of the multi-billion college sports industry that’s built off the backs of the labors of them and the players, they should get it.


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