NFL players union president DeMaurice Smith said on Monday that the union is appealing the NFL’s decision to keep players out of work through Sept. 1, in a move that the league is expected to appeal.
Smith made the comments as he joined several players at a press conference in which he discussed the union’s appeal to the National Labor Relations Board.
Smith said he wants the union to be able to focus on issues such as pension security, health care, and access to education and other social programs.
“I want the NFL to have the ability to focus and be able focus on the issues of health care and health care access and the other social issues that we’re working on,” Smith said.
“It’s not just about football.
I want it to be about the future of this country.”
The union has asked the NLRB to order the league to end its lockout of players beginning Monday and to make some salary cuts, but that would likely take years to complete.
The union is asking the NLRA to declare the strike illegal and to require the NFLPA to negotiate with the NFL in good faith, but it hasn’t yet agreed to any of those demands.
The NFLPA is still negotiating with the union over its collective bargaining rights, which could result in a partial lifting of the lockout and reinstatement of the league.
The NFLPA also wants a temporary injunction to keep the players from protesting during the national anthem.