US & World

NFL players look to SoCal congresswoman for help

Lakewood Democrat Linda Sanchez
Lakewood Democrat Linda Sanchez
Kitty Felde/KPCC

Listen to story

Download this story 0MB

Pro football players are looking for help from a Southern California congresswoman in their labor talks with team owners.

National Football League players and owners are working on a new labor agreement that will cover the next four seasons.

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez serves on a House judiciary subcommittee that looked into the trouble NFL players had in getting disability and retirement benefits. The Lakewood Democrat wants that addressed in the new labor contract. If not, she says Congress could reconsider the anti-trust exemption that lets the NFL owners negotiate billions in contracts with the four TV networks.

"We’re going to be watching the negotiations to see how things proceed," she says. "And if we feel that there is this taking advantage, or not fairly compensating, then there is a possibility that we could revisit that exemption."

The new executive director of the players union is a former DC lobbyist with strong ties to Capitol Hill. Labor talks are stalled — and owners are threatening a lockout for next season.