How the NFLPA Works
Why do players need a union and what does it actually do?
What is the NFLPA?
- The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) is the union for professional football players in the National Football League.
Why do professional football players need a union?
- The union allows players to stand together to protect their health, rights, and families.
- The union started in 1956. Players used their combined strength to force owners to provide basics like clean uniforms and safer equipment.
- In 2011, we negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) after an 18-week lockout by the owners.
- That CBA focused on issues like free agency, the salary cap, rookie compensation, and minimum salaries.
- The 2011 CBA will expire in 2021.
- Our job is to represent players’ interests during negotiations for the next CBA and to make sure players are well informed and prepared for them.
What does the union do?
- Represents all players in matters concerning wages, hours and working conditions and protects their rights as professional football players
- Makes sure that the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) are met
- Negotiates and monitors retirement and insurance benefits
- Provides other member services and activities
- Provides assistance to charitable and community organizations
- Enhances and defends the image of players and their profession on and off the field
How does the union work?
- The NFLPA works from the bottom-up. All power and authority to do anything in the NFLPA comes from the Board of Reps who are elected by the player members.
- Player Members on each NFL team elect both a Player Representative and an Alternate Player Representative to serve on the Board of Player Representatives (The Board of Player Reps).
- The Board of Player Reps meets at least once a year and makes all of the important decisions for the organization.