Roland Martin discusses the National Labor Relations Board Director’s ruling that Northwestern can unionize its football team with ESPN’s Jason Whitlock and Kevin Blackistone.
“This is not about salaries. What these players are talking about is workers compensation and protection of scholarships should they get hurt and healthcare down the line,” says Blackistone.
Jason Whitlock continued with, “we’ll no longer call these players student athletes but we’ll call them student employees and they’ll have the rights as employee.”
Read the entire interview below:
ROLAND MARTIN: Hey folks, good morning. Hey, Tom, call this the sports report. Earlier this week the National Labor Relations Board Director in Chicago ruled that Northwestern can unionize, it’s football team, can unionize. It sent shockwaves throughout college football. And, of course, also yesterday we saw the story of Kobe Bryant, his comments in The New Yorker. I want to first deal with Northwestern. Kevin Blackistone, University of Maryland Professor, also you see him on Around The Horn on ESPN, also Jason Whitlock with ESPN. Both of them join us right now. Kevin, Jason, what up?
KEVIN BLACKISTONE: Hey.
JASON WHITLOCK: What’s happening?
ROLAND MARTIN: All right, first of all, Kevin, I’ll go to you first. Northwestern, this is a major, major deal that the ruling that they allow to unionize, it was a very tight ruling and it’s going to be difficult for Northwestern to appeal this. What does this mean for college football?
JASON WHITLOCK: Well, it’s just another swing of the sledgehammer at the inequities system that is college athletics when it comes to revenue generating sports. This comes on the heels of Jeffrey Tesler, the lawyer, his lawsuit against the anti-trust provisions that the NCAA has. This comes on the heels of the APU movement, from which this filing with the labor relations board was born. This comes on the heels of the Ed O’Bannon case, which is yet to be settled, which threatens the NCAA with tens of millions of dollars. This comes on the heels of the EA sports settlement about the usage of college athletes’ likenesses to sell games. So this is a continued erosion, but a legal attempt to erode the foundation of the NCAA which is a long time coming.