A new organization has been launched with the intention of starting a union for stars of the UFC.
The ‘Professional Fighters Association’ has been founded by established baseball agent Jeff Borris, labor attorney Lucas Middlebrook and economist Andrew Zimbalist, who claim in a press release that, “PFA will not only be a union of fighters, but it will be governed solely by fighters. It is the fighters who will control their own futures.”
Borris has been an MLB agent for many years, with his clients including some of the biggest names in the sport like Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco and Rickey Henderson.
Middlebrook may be familiar to MMA fans as the lawyer who successfully convinced the Nevada State Athletic Commission to reduce Nick Diaz’s five year marijuana suspension down to just 18 months, but beyond that he’s also council for both the NBA and MLS referees unions.
Finally, Zimbalist is the Professor of Economics at Smith College and has written several books on economics within the sporting world.
“It is the goal of the PFA to organize these hard working athletes so that they may collectively bargain their terms and conditions of employment pursuant to the National Labor Relations Act,” today’s statement from the PFA states.
In addition to their press release and newly launched website at www.profighters.org, the PFA have also drummed up support from other major unions from the likes of MLB, NFL, MLS and NHL to add extra weight behind their push to unionize the UFC’s fighters.
“As Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, I support the efforts of the fighters to organize. The solidarity and commitment of the group will be essential to their ability to protect and advance their workplace rights.”
Executive Director | Major League Baseball Players Association
“I have been privileged to represent elite athletes for nearly 40 years, and believe now more than ever in the benefits of collective bargaining to secure and enhance terms and conditions of employment. That is why I fully support and encourage efforts of the fighters to organize a union to represent them.”
Donald M. Fehr
Executive Director | National Hockey League Players Association
Executive Director 1983-2009 | Major League Baseball Players Association
“The MLS Players Union supports the efforts of UFC fighters. By standing together, the men and women of UFC will have the best opportunity to ensure that their collective rights are protected.”
Executive Director | Major League Soccer Players Union
“As a strong labor union, the NFL Players Association recognizes the need for a collective voice among athletes and supports the efforts of the UFC fighters to stand together as a team to advance their rights as working men and women.”
Executive Director | National Football League Players Association