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 was formed in 1956. Players used their combined strength to force owners to provide basics like clean uniforms and safer equipment.
- 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.
- In 2011, we negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) after an 18-week lockout by the owners.
- In March 2020, we negotiated the current CBA, which runs through the 2030 season.
- The current CBA brought new gains to our members, including an increased share in revenue, expanded roster sizes, a sizable bump in minimum salaries, health & safety advances, rookie contract bonuses, and more.
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.
Want to know more?
- Explore Our History of Wins to learn how we’ve been fighting for player rights since 1956.
- Browse Player Marketing Solutions to find out how we’re protecting group licensing rights and generating income for every NFL player through our marketing and licensing arm Players, Inc.