ESPN has reported that Northwestern must “eliminate ‘unlawful’ rules governing football players and allow them to express themselves,” in a ruling from the National Labor Relations Board.
Lester Munson, ESPN’s legal analyst, said that the ruling, which referred to players as employees, said that players should be allowed to post on social media, discuss their health and safety and address the media.
The article said the rules apply to all 17 private FBS institutions, but not public ones.
The NLRB doesn’t have any power over public schools, since it “governs relations between private employers and their employees” according to the article.
Perhaps the most interesting thing in the article is that athletes now have a way to bring issues to an independent agency that doesn’t have anything to do with universities, conferences or the NCAA.
Munson said this ruling opens the door to the possibilities that a player could “file a charge with the NLRB asserting that failing to pay players constitutes an unfair labor practice.”