Okung: NFLPA ignored constitution during CBA negotiations

Offensive tackle Russell Okung alleges the NFL Players Association's leadership violated the union's own constitution during the negotiating of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL.

Okung filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board on Monday, when he claimed NFLPA leadership was negotiating in bad faith.

"On Monday, I filed a formal complaint with the National Labor Relations Board charging NFLPA Executive Director (DeMaurice) Smith with specific violations of our Constitution during CBA negotiations," Okung said Thursday. "I did this because of my fiduciary obligation as a member of the Executive Committee.

"I've retained Peter Ginsberg and his firm Sullivan & Worcester to pursue this claim with the intention of bringing the truth to light."

Okung is no longer on the Executive Committee after Tuesday's elections. Okung was one of four players who were in the mix to become the new president of the NFLPA, but he withdrew on Tuesday, not long before Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter was elected.

Okung released a letter Thursday that details some of his concerns. The letter says the NLRB complaint details violations by the NFLPA as well as pointing out the rights of players were ignored.

"The NFLPA staff leadership cut members of the Executive Committee out of the process, in violation of its duties to the membership," the letter said. "NFLPA staff leadership also ignored the constitution regarding the ratification process and the mechanism for vetting the proposed CBA prior to a membership vote.

"Asked to consider the proposed CBA, the Executive Committee recognized the proposal's failings and the need for amplification of certain provisions, and voted not to send the proposal to the rank and file. The NFLPA staff leadership, in violation of its duties, ignored the Executive Committee, and sent the proposal to the membership for a vote."

The letter also alleges that Smith is manipulating important business by the union.

Okung, soon to be a member of the Carolina Panthers, has played 10 NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks (2010-15), Denver Broncos (2016) and Los Angeles Chargers (2017-19). He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and has started in all 124 games in which he has played.

--Field Level Media