Last week we reported on how former UFC stars Wanderlei Silva, Nate Quarry, and Jon Fitch were spotted with National Football League Players Assocation officials during Collegiate Bowl week. This week Wanderlei Silva has posted a new video to Youtube titled “The Power of Union”, showing him getting a lesson in unions from the executive director of the NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith.
You can watch or read their conversation below.
Smith: Thank you. We believe strongly in what we do here. It’s not about football. It’s not about MMA.
Silva: What are the words here. What did I see?
Silva: Yeah, why? What are you fighting for?
Smith: It’s important for us to take – these are our union representatives and they are all first year union reps. It is important for us to bring the youngest group of union members in and for a concentrated amount of time not only talk to them about our union but talk to them about the union movement. Why it ‘s important for a group of workers – and again you know I don’t talk a lot about the game or the sport – to work together. Because if you can work together you can do a lot of great things. Single individuals, it won’t work.
Silva: You said something key, the owners try to split us. Always.
Smith: Always. Look, the owners understand that if they take care of one or two guys it’s fine. So you’ll have a group of people that will be OK and the rest of the group of people will be starving. The owners are fine with that. If you can marry and manage to bring together everybody, including those guys at the top of the food change. And for our guys, and we talked a lot about our guys, but you know Peyton Manning sued the National Football League. Drew Brees sued the National Football League. Tom Brady sued the National Football League. New rep in there, Vincent Jackson, sued the National Football League. So you got guys who are making millions and millions of dollars a year suing the National Football League standing beside a group of guys making a hundred thousand dollars a year suing the National Football League. But they’re together.
Silva: This is great. This is what we are trying to bring to our sport. We start to have some problems with our sport . They do not treat us well and do not respect us. They do not take care of us at all, zero.
Smith: And they all want you to be individual guys,
Smith: And the big thing I do, the one thing i learned over six years learning from Marvin and others, people like Unite Here, the biggest difference is teaching. If you can get a group of people in a room and just teach. because you know what we talk about it’s not incredible complex. It’s not hard to understand. It’s easy. But getting a group of people in a room where everyone understands changes everything.
Silva: As you said, the same problem is for each one, all have the same problems.
Silva: We all have the same problems, we are together. We are together.
Smith: And you have to bring a group of people together and teach them. Teach, teach, teach. And Marvin. The amount of time I spoke with Marvin Miller was amazing. He had just lost his wife. He was in bad health himself. But Marvin, when I went to meet him in New York he said “the most important thing you’ll ever do in this job is teach.” Teach. Because an educated employee is the most powerful person in the world. Because without you that owner doesn’t make any money. If you are educated and that person next to you is educated and you’re all together and you’re educated he will make a business decision about what’s in his best interest. That’s what we want.
Silva: We want the sport to grow, not want to take anything away from anyone. We want to help.
Smith: And there will alway be guys who don’t want to get it and don’t want to be taught but just be patient and teach. Teach. Teach. And you know what everyone comes around. Some of our best union reps were anti-union but they didn’t understand. And you spend time talking to them and look, our union, Whatever you need from our union we’ll be with you guys until the end of time.
Silva: I am very happy to see what you have done for your sport. This is a good example for us.
Smith: Thank you.
Silva: I told a friend we are still in 1956. We are just at the beginning.
Smith: You are just at the beginning.
Silva: We have a good example in you guys, and especially you. You are a guy with passion. You are real without all the politics. You really defend the sport guys. I am so happy to see you here today. I am so happy to see you today.
Smith: Whatever you guys need from us. Keep fighting you guys. I knows it’s hard.
Silva: We are fighters.
Smith: Keep fighting. It’s what you do. You have to find it inside you that willingness to fight for people you’ve never known. For people that aren’t getting involved. And if they do that…
Silva: Thank you.
(Translated from Portuguese) He is the man. I am educating myself and learning from the best. Their players association is very powerful. And it’s an association in favor of the athletes. And that’s what we want, the proper conditions to practice our sport. To give better shows to the public. i am here today in search for knowledge. Gaining support and strength for our movement. Our movement is growing. And we are not going against anyone. We are in favor of the athletes. And we will get the fighters their rights. So they’re able to retire and have a life after they stop fighting. When the spotlight goes out we see reality come rushing in. I am proud to stand up for the athletes, for the fighters. To learn and to receive support for our class from such important people in sports. We are fighting for this one together.
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