As the institutional and radical left begin to descend on Lansing, Michigan in preparation for Tuesday's expected protest against right-to-work legislation passed last week, they have an interesting ally—the unions representing the multimillionaire players of professional football and baseball.
Players Unions for both the National Football League and Major League Baseball gave statements to ThinkProgress explicitly opposing right-to-work:
Today, the legislation has a new foe: the National Football League Players Association, which represents players on Michigan’s NFL franchise, the Detroit Lions, and has come out against “right-to-work” before.
“We stood up against this in the past, and we stand against it in its current form in Michigan,” George Atallah, the association’s assistant executive director for external affairs, told ThinkProgress in a phone interview. “Our leadership and players are always proud to stand with workers in Michigan and everywhere else. We don’t think voters chose this, and we don’t think workers deserve this.”
Not content with just having the NFL Player's Association tell workers that they don't deserve freedom from union dues, the progressive thinkers at ThinkProgress reached out to the union that represents atheletes from the Great American Pastime:
In an email to ThinkProgress, Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Michael Weiner said his union also opposes the “right-to-work” push.
“Major League Baseball Players Association has always stood by the principle that all who reap the many benefits of union representation should contribute to their operation,” Weiner said. “All union members — either auto workers, teachers, firefighters, or the American League champion Detroit Tigers — oppose legislation designed to weaken unions. The economic health of our country cannot be revitalized by depriving workers of their voice in the workplace.”
In 2011, the average yearly salary of a Major League Baseball player was reportedly $3.31 million dollars while the average NFL player made $1.9 million annually.
While both unions expressed solidarity with the unions in their drive to collect dues from workers, neither group of sports figures seem to plan to actually do anything about it. ThinkProgress notes:
Atallah said the players association had no plans for public actions against the right-to-work proceedings, but he iterated that the union stands with workers in Michigan. “We disagree with it and we’ll continue to stand with Michigan’s workers,” Atallah said.
"Stand" is apparently meant to be taken metaphorically.