Northwestern's starting QB calls an audible on unionization

Trevor Siemian initially signed a union card at the urging of former NU quarterback Kain Colter.

Last month the NLRB said Northwestern football players were university employees.

Northwestern University's (NU) starting quarterback Trevor Siemian says he will not vote to unionize on April 25. 

"We filed for employee cards, but that doesn't mean a union is the right avenue," Siemian said at the Big Ten Spring Teleconference Wednesday afternoon. "Especially at Northwestern, where most of the guys on the team agree we have been treated very, very well. I'm treated here far better than I deserve." 

Initially Siemian sided with former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter who was adamant in his push for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hand down their decision that Northwestern football players were to be considered university employees. The starting quarterback signed union cards along with a majority of the team after Colter gave a presentation in Evanston, Ill., on Jan. 28 along with Ramogi Huma, founder of the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA).

Siemian, a junior at NU, blames himself for the initial rushed decision to team up with his predecessor and regrets not taking his concerns to the coach or athletic director first. 

"To say, 'I don't trust you enough to address this,' I don't think that is the way to go," Siemian said.

NU's Coach Pat Fitzgerald urged players on Saturday to vote against unionization and on Wednesday had nothing but praise for Siemian's leadership both on and off the field. 

"There's no question Trevor is our leader," he said. "This is Trevor Siemian's football team." 

While the university has already spoken out against unionization, school officials declined to weigh in on Siemian's remarks today.

"Our players voice their own thoughts," Bob Rowley, director of media relations for Northwestern told Campus Reform.

NU filed a brief with the NLRB Wednesday afternoon, appealing their decision to let the football players at the private institution unionize. CAPA has until April 16 to file their own brief in opposition of Northwestern's appeal. 

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