A lot of athletes who are in a player’s union have talked about how much collective bargaining has improved their lives, which is why, some of them have talked about the need for fighter’s to organize.
One of the latest pro-athletes to do so is Michael Carter-Williams, who plays for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. Recently he was a guest on “The MMA Hour”, since Carter – Williams is a self admitted, massive fan of MMA. During the interview, he was asked about the fact that fighters don’t currently have a union, and Carter – Williams said the following (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“They absolutely should. I think it’s crazy that they already don’t have a union,” Carter-Williams said. “And I know it’s hard, but come on, they put their lives on the line every time they step in the ring. There’s no reason why their payouts are [what] they are now. And it’s because they don’t have a union.
“Dominick (Cruz) and I were talking about it, and I was like, ‘How don’t you guys have a good enough union to where you guys don’t have health insurance, or you guys don’t get paid more?’ To me, that’s beyond crazy, and it is — it’s going to need to take the top guys of the UFC to not fight until the payments are what they should be, and [the benefits] are where they should be. It’s going to take the Conor McGregors, it’s going to take the Diazs, it’s going to take the Stipes. It’s going to take those guy to hold out so that everybody else can get what they deserve.”
Not everyone is a fan of unions, particularly during player strikes, and others have questioned how a union would work in MMA. But, consider this, you don’t see too many players who are members of a player’s association saying it’s time to get rid of it right?
There’s been times when it looked like momentum was building in MMA for a union, or some sort of fighter organization to form, but nothing’s materialized thus far. There are organizations like the Professional Fighters Association (PFA), led by former baseball agent Jeff Boras, and the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association (MMAAA), which stars like Georges St-Pierre and T.J. Dillashaw endorsed, but no group has crossed the organizing goal line yet.