NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said the union and NFL players stand firmly behind former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter and the College Athletes Players Association in their effort to create a union.
Smith wrote a post called "The Truth About Kain Colter's Stand and Why NFL Players Support Him," on the Huffington Post's website and says the NCAA and those who agree with them have offered a "classic bait-and-switch argument" taking focus away from issues that were raised by CAPA.
Smith says that the NCAA has "not allowed athletes to have a seat at the table to discuss serious issues and therefore has done little to address full medical coverage for injuries sustained, limitations on practice time, scholarship shortfalls and rules to make promised education a reality."
Northwestern will vote on whether to organize under the College Athletes Players Association on April 25, after the National Labor Relations Board ruled that they have the right to form a labor union.
"The response of the NCAA, the university president and people who don't want to hear Kain and his teammates is essentially, 'Shut up and play,'" Smith wrote. "Current and future college athletes -- and especially their parents -- should stand behind, support, and be proud of a young man who decided not to just 'shut up and play.' Kain Colter has met the challenge, and we know others will too."STAPLES: Northwestern ruling sends clear message: NCAA, it’s time to negotiate