With a recent vote of support from the National Labor Relations Board behind him, former Northwestern University quarterback Kain Colter and other athletes were on Capitol Hill on Wednesday in hopes of gaining support from lawmakers in their efforts to unionize.
"The number one thing is just raising awareness and getting people in our corner," Colter said in advance of meetings with Ill. Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Jan Schakowsky. "Especially people with this amount of status and the power that they do have, it'd be great to have their support."
The NLRB in Chicago last week said Northwestern football players on full scholarships are employees of the university and have the right to form a union and bargain collectively. University officials have said they'll appeal.
Colter co-founded the College Athletes Players Association and serves on its board of directors with former UCLA football player Ramogi Huma, who founded the union, and former basketball player Luke Bonner.
- College Athletes Can Unionize, Federal Agency Says
- Jan. 2014: Northwestern University Football Players Apply To Join Union
He said the NLRB's ruling gives student athletes a voice and could be a game-changer for athletes across the country.
"Our plan is to branch out ... eventually we want to represent everybody," he said.
Despite the NCAA's opposition to the NLRB's ruling and Northwestern's vow to appeal, the Denver native said he has no animosity toward the school.
"I love the school. I love the football program," he said. "What Northwestern did is it prepared us to take on this challenge to be great thinkers and be great leaders and I'm appreciative of that."