Kain Colter Leads Northwestern Effort to Unionize College Football Players
By Ken Reed
This is a big step.
In a couple decades, Kain Colter might be perceived as a civil rights and social justice hero. And rightfully so.
“Right now the NCAA is like a dictatorship,” said Colter while announcing the effort to seek labor union representation. “No one represents us in negotiations. The only way things are going to change is if the players have a union.”
The common perception is that this attempt to unionize is all about money. That’s only part of it, maybe the least important part. The biggest part is about protection, in multiple areas, but especially in the area of injuries. It’s also about protection in academic matters.
“This is about finally giving college athletes a seat at the table,” said Ramogi Huma, a former UCLA linebacker who created the National College Players Association (NCPA) as an advocacy group in 2001. “Athletes deserve an equal voice when it comes to their physical, academic and financial protections.”
Huma is advising Colter and his colleagues, as is the United Steelworkers union. If certified by the National Labor Relations Board, the union will be called the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA).
Three of the best in the sportswriting business, Tom Farrey, Patrick Hruby, and Dave Zirin have excellent pieces on this important development.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans.
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Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
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Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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