Workers Rights Group Says NFL, NBA Jerseys Are Manufactured in Sweatshop

Saturday, July 23, 2005

NBA and NFL jerseys are being manufactured in a Honduran factory where workers who earn 19 cents per garment in sweatshop conditions are producing $75 jerseys, a human rights organization asserted yesterday.

"There's something wrong with the NFL and NBA players financing their strike fund and their union from royalties made on the backs of women locked in sweatshops across the developing world, who are denied their rights, paid starvation wages and would be fired the first time the boss even suspected them of trying to organize to defend their rights," said Charles Kernaghan , director of the National Labor Committee, a human rights group that focuses on workers' rights.

Kernaghan made his allegations at a news conference yesterday held outside the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in New York.

Massachusetts-based Reebok issued a response disputing many of the allegations contained in the committee's report and announced a plan for an independent assessment of the factory's conditions.

The NBA issued the following statement: "Reebok has assured us that the National Labor Committee report contains numerous inaccuracies. In addition, Reebok is a member of the Fair Labor Association, which has accredited Reebok's global program for the manufacturing of its footwear and apparel."

The NFL said, "Reebok has assured us that the allegations in the report contain many inaccuracies."

-- Thomas Heath

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