A Closer Look into the NFLPA and The GLA Agreements
With everything Gene Upshaw and the NFLPA touched over the past 25 years, you can always expect it to be like peeling an onion: There’s one new surprise after another as you peel away the layers and it’ll bring tears to your eyes with each layer.
When Judge Allsup’s decision was announced in November, most of the retired players were elated to hear about a hard-fought victory that was years in the making. (Click HERE to read that earlier post.) But it didn’t take long for more and more retired players to realize that they weren’t on the final GLA (Group Licensing Assignment) list that was released at the end of the trial. At first, we thought that perhaps a few of the players had simply not signed and/or returned their GLA’s. And the more players who wrote in, the more we realized that many of them had never even received GLA’s at all over the years.
So Dave couldn’t stop wondering about the difference between the number of retired players that the NFLPA claimed to have signed to GLA’s and the actual number that they provided to the courts. Dave, of course, has been a dues-paying, card-carrying member of the NFLPA all these years. (Even as Gene Upshaw announced that they didn’t represent the retired players.) And Dave seldom throws anything away. He managed to dig up the last 3 copies of the NFLPA Retired Members Directory, spanning from 2002 – 2009.
Here are the pages from the 2002 – 2004, 2004 – 2006 and 2007 – 2009 Directories that actually states the number of GLA’s the NFLPA claimed to have on file (click on each image to enlarge it for easier reading):
And just for good measure, here’s an introductory page from the 2007 Directory that says it all:
A Continued Voice in Your Union…
And in case you haven’t seen what’s printed on the front and back of each and every NFLPA membership card:
According to the final list of signed GLA’s that the NFLPA provided for the trial, here’s the breakdown by year, compared to what the NFLPA boldly stated in their published semi-annual Directory:
Does this mean that any players who hadn’t signed a GLA or been included in the list can now sue Electronic Arts directly for copyright infringement if their images were used in their Madden video games without their permission? And does it also mean that the retired players who were excluded from signing GLA’s have been misrepresented by their union, the NFLPA?
We can’t help wondering just exactly what was shredded in that huge shredding party last year at NFLPA headquarters…