According to the NFLPA players’ union, the Cincinnati Bengals are backing a bill that would strip professional athletes in Ohio of the ability to be compensated for on-the-job injuries. If this comes to fruition, it could impact contract negotiations with stars like Joe Burrow.
The Cincinnati Bengals are apparently lobbying for teams in Ohio to no longer be liable for workplace injuries to their players.
“Athletes who are under contract with or play for a professional sports team are not eligible to file, and cannot receive, claims seeking recognition of permanent disabilities,” the players’ union NFLPA quoted in an email to its members from a related bill the Begals apparently support.
According to the NFLPA, this would deprive professional athletes in Ohio of a fundamental right enjoyed by all other workers there. And the bill would, of course, have particular relevance to the Bengals’ NFL players, since American football is a particularly injury-intensive sport.
In the mail, the NFLPA accuses the Bengals of acting out of pure greed for profit. “Simply put, this is an attack on your rights as Americans and as players who are protected under the collective bargaining agreement. They are doing this to increase their profits. “
The allegations fit the picture often painted of Cincinnati owner Mike Brown. The businessman is considered chronically stingy.
For example, superstar Warren Sapp was ready to sign with the Ohio team in 2004 before Brown withdrew the offer at short notice.
Contracts of Cincinnati’s top stars expire
The news is also explosive because the contracts of the Bengals’ top four stars, Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgings, expire over the next two years.
An extension with quarterback Burrow should be Cincinnati’s top priority. The 26-year-old, however, has spoken out on political issues on several occasions, showing more liberal leanings.
During the protests surrounding the murder of George Floyd, Burrow had clearly sided with the Black Lives Matter movement and called for more support for black people in the US.
Accusations are only against Bengals
It’s hard to imagine negotiations with him and other future free agents would get any easier should the players’ union’s suspicions about the bill prove true.
What’s also notable about the NFLPA’s news is that the allegations are directed at the Bengals alone.
The Cleveland Browns, who would also be affected by the change in the law, are not mentioned in the letter.