The NFLPA declined to comment, and Okung, who has the right to appeal, did not respond to a request for comment.
The NLRB could have issued a complaint against the NFLPA, and the case could have ended up before an administrative law judge.
Okung’s charge accused the NFLPA of failing to bargain in good faith and threatening to retaliate against employees who did not support the union. It named DeMaurice Smith, the NFLPA’s executive director, and another union attorney. It contended that the CBA never should have been put to a vote of the team-by-team player representatives and then to a vote of all players after being rejected by players on the union’s executive committee, of which Okung is a former member. Okung alleged he was improperly investigated and threatened with punishment by the union.
According to a letter obtained by the NFL Network, the NLRB ruled that the evidence failed to show that threats were made against Okung for his behavior and added that it does not interpret a union’s constitution or ratification procedures.
Okung dropped his candidacy for NFLPA president before the players voted in March to elect Cleveland Browns center J.C. Tretter. Okung was traded this offseason from the Los Angeles Chargers to the Panthers.
The CBA, ratified narrowly by the players in March, includes a 17-game regular season and reduced preseason, an expanded set of playoffs and significant changes to the sport’s marijuana policy and system of player discipline. Players receive an increased share of the sport’s revenue under the deal, which makes some modifications for the 2020 season and then runs through the 2030 season.