Union Running Up the Gut vs. NFL


A strange thing is happening to the most management-dominated sports league in the U.S. The players are taking over.

It's happening on the field and off, in locker rooms and in grievance hearings, and it undoubtedly happened during the 2011 lockout, when the players stood their ground during a labor standoff that threatened to break the National Football League Players Association. The NFLPA had long been a poor cousin compared with baseball's and basketball's unions.

The turning point was probably in July of that year, when NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith told league officials the players union had a $350 million insurance policy the players would collect if the lockout caused the cancellation of the season. Within...

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