The heroic worker and student takeover of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, which is entering its second week, has evoked solidarity throughout many sectors of U.S. society; athletes are no exception. The Green Bay Packers, the only publicly owned team in the National Football Association and winners of Super Bowl XLV, are based in the working-class city of Green Bay, Wis. Past and present Packer members — Curtis Fuller, Chris Jackie, Charles Jordan, Bob Long, Steve Okoniewski, Brady Poppinga and Jason Spitz — issued the following solidarity statement on Feb. 15, the second day of the Wisconsin Capitol takeover.
Football union supports Wisconsin workers
Following statement was issued on Feb. 15.
The NFL Players Association will always support efforts protecting a worker’s right to join a union and collectively bargain. Today, the NFLPA stands in solidarity with its organized labor brothers and sisters in Wisconsin.
We know that it is teamwork on and off the field that makes the Packers and Wisconsin great. As a publicly-owned team we wouldn’t have been able to win the Super Bowl without the support of our fans.
It is the same dedication of our public workers every day that makes Wisconsin run. They are the teachers, nurses and child care workers who take care of us and our families. But now in an unprecedented political attack Governor Walker is trying to take away their right to have a voice and bargain at work.
The right to negotiate wages and benefits is a fundamental underpinning of our middle class. When workers join together it serves as a check on corporate power and helps ALL workers by raising community standards. Wisconsin’s long standing tradition of allowing public sector workers to have a voice on the job has worked for the state since the 1930s. It has created greater consistency in the relationship between labor and management and a shared approach to public work.
These public workers are Wisconsin’s champions every single day and we urge the Governor and the State Legislature to not take away their rights.