Jeffrey Kessler to the rescue of USWNT and why fans don’t get it

us womens soccer

US Women’s National Team in a picture for their Facebook page last June (Photo: USWNT)

Jeffrey Kessler to the rescue again.

He is now on the side of the United States Womens National Team in their labor fight versus United States Soccer Federation.

Five of the most prominent stars of the sport Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn released a statement through their lawyers claiming the US Mens National Team make as much as 4 times as much as the women do although their conditions of employment are the same.

Now, they have brought a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accusing US Soccer of wage discrimination.

US Soccer maintains it has an existing collective bargaining agreement with USWNT in place through the end of 2016 and previously sought to enforce that agreement by filing its own separate action in February.

The timing of this release by USWNT coincides with discovery requests in the matter to be completed as of this Thursday.

Immediately, opinions on Jeffrey Kessler flooded on social media as the story broke.

Yes, this is same Jeffrey Kessler who fought to get Tom Brady back on the field in the DeflateGate saga against the National Football League and won.

Yes, this is the same Jeffrey Kessler who represented NFL players in the 2011 NFL lockout.

Yes, this is the same Jeffrey Kessler who is currently lead counsel in a lawsuit versus the NCAA claiming grant-in-aid scholarships are artificially set as the ceiling under which can be paid to college athletes by its member institutions and is collusive.

Jeffrey Kessler has been involved in some of the most important sports labor law related controversies facing sports.

And because his name has popped up repeatedly, he’s taken criticism as if he is some sort of sports ambulance chaser.

For that, I pull the red card.

Sports, unlike many other industries in this country, have increased the intensity and fervor of collective bargaining and laborers advancing their rights.

Most sports fans have worked in a country with declining unions with jobs being shipped overseas and bachelor degrees meaning less than a generation ago.

As such, most fans cannot relate to workers’ rights they have willingly given up in their own lives.

Fans worship the front of the jersey and assail the back of the jersey.

With fantasy sports, fans now feel they are even owners themselves.

It has made fans shift the focus of their fandom against the very players they cheer for.

Any challenge to the status quo by sports laborers is an affront to the sports fans tailgating, beers with the guys, and face painting.

Fans should take a hard look in the mirror at their own lives.

Collective bargaining allows players to advance their individual and collective rights to make more money, to have safer work conditions, and in turn it helps the organization operate more efficiently as a result.

Instead of assailing unions, fans should start demanding better conditions collectively in their own places of employment so they are not capitulating to organizations who underpay them, overwork them, treat them unfairly, and easily discard them.

Fans need a Jeffrey Kessler in their own lives.

Until they do, they can hold the criticism and watch USWNT attempt a corner kick at US Soccer.

Exavier B. Pope I, Esq. is an award winning attorney, on air legal analyst, media personality, Fortune 500 speaker, content creator, writer, tastemaker, thought leader, and yogi. Mr. Pope is the host of #SuitUP Podcast for his production company 528 Media Group, and a contributing writer and host of the Radical Inspiration Podcast distributed through Wanderlust/Yoganonymous. Mr. Pope has over 200+ appearances on air, including: international television on BBC and Al Jazeera English; national television on Fox News Channel, HLN, NBC Nightly News, Al Jazeera America, WGN Morning News, Fox Business Channel, and Huff Post Live; Top 3 Local Media Markets on Fox, CBS, and NBC; international radio on BBC Radio; national radio on ESPN Radio, Clear Channel Radio, NBC Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio; written and contributed digitally to The Hollywood Reporter, CNBC, Huffington Post, Jet, and Black Enterprise; and has appeared in other media outlets nationally and internationally. Mr. Pope is represented by top media and literary agency RLR Associates.

© 2016, Exavier B. Pope I, Esq., 528 Media Group.







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