Friday, May 9, 2014

Controversy over unionizing college athletes reaches the House of Representatives… but what does it matter?

English: Color logo of the National Labor Rela...
English: Color logo of the National Labor Relations Board, an independent agency of the United States federal government. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'm sure this has Tea Partiers' undies all bundled up.

But, frankly, I think this is much ado about nothing.  If the NLRB is foolish enough to affirm the regional director's goofy decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit will cut them off at the knees.  Since election decisions aren't typically appealable, this might have to wait until the university refuses to bargain, triggering an unfair labor practice charge.  Meanwhile no negotiations will take place and the players who instigated this will have graduated.

Furthermore, all I just said presupposes that, if and when the ballot box is finally opened, a majority of the players actually voted for the union.  Straw polling suggests that many of them did not. 

Either way, this is a "hot" issue that will burn itself out, just like the current controversy over the Clippers' racist owner.  Just as his big mouth has little to do with the real issues challenging black Americans, the Northwestern footballers' controversy has little to do with the real challenges facing organized labor in America today.

Bread and circuses, my friends, while Rome burns.
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