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AFL-CIO boss rebukes former players

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith speaks

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith speaks as he and a group of player representatives arrive for labor talks in Washington Friday. (Mar. 11, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

Earlier today, 20 former players submitted a letter to the AFL-CIO urging the labor organization to expel the NFL Players Association from the group because the union wasn't adequately representing the needs of retired players. 

But AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka issued a strong rebuke to the request. He singled out attorney Michael Hausfeld, who has worked with retired players on a number of legal issues the last several years, in denying the request. 

"The claims of Mr. Hausfeld are simply misguided and unfounded," Trumka said in a statement. "We should all applaud the fierce advocacy the NFLPA has demonstrated for its members, and for all working people. Under the leadership of DeMaurice Smith, the NFLPA has represented its members to secure significant gains for both active and former players including the unprecedented Legacy Benefit which alone will provide $620 million to former players over the course of the agreement. There is no doubt that the labor movement is stronger with the affiliation of the NFLPA. Mr. Hausfeld’s same arguments were thrown out decisively by a judge only a few weeks ago, and are no differently viewed today.”

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