Former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter joined up with former UCLA player Ramogi Huma to form the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) in the effort toward unionization for college athletes. After the National Labor Relations Board ruled in CAPA’s favor last week, Huma appeared on The Colbert Report to address the issue.
After Huma said that there are no guaranteed medical expenses if a college athlete gets injured, Colbert, in his usual humorous shtick, said that players should “walk it off,” “tough it out” and “suck it up.”
“If they were to follow that logic they’d probably go out and break an NCAA rule and get suspended if they went to go find the money,” Huma said in response. “These guys are stuck with medical expenses too often and former players have nothing to support them as well. They’re generating multibillion dollars and the NCAA, unfortunately, has not done anything on concussion reform. They face the same risk as the pro guys.”
In the limited time he had, Huma did a good job explaining CAPA’s position, even drawing a round of applause from the audience when he said that just because playing football is voluntary, it doesn’t mean that players should not have a voice.
“In America, there are no employees that are forced to go to their job. It’s all voluntary, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a voice in your work place to make sure that you have basic protections,” he said.
The Northwestern players will have the opportunity to vote on whether or not to authorize a union on April 25.
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