Members of the National Football League Players Association will receive step-by-step details from management next week on how they can resign from their union, the Associated Press reported from Dallas.
In its July newsletter, the NFL's Management Council, the league's labor negotiating arm, said it was not soliciting resignations from the union, only making sure players know about their rights to resign.
The contract between the league and the NFLPA expires July 15, and the two sides are attempting to negotiate a new agreement. Under terms of the current contract, players may resign from the union and revoke their dues checkoff if they notify the union and their team between June 25 and July 5.
"We are not encouraging players to resign from the union or to revoke their checkoff authorization, but they should know they have that right. Whether a player maintains his union membership is his free choice," said Jack Donlan, executive director of the management council.
Ed Garvey, NFLPA executive director, told AP in New York that "the best description of it is just childish. . . The letter is meaningless."
It is not uncommon for management to remind union members during labor negotiations that they may quit the union and how to go about it.
The newsletter also informed players that their clubs will no longer collect dues and a service fee and send it to the union July 15. It warned that should they continue their membership in the union they would be required to participate in a strike if one is called.
The two sides are to meet July 7 in Washington, Garvey said.