On Tuesday afternoon, a group of Northwestern football players filed a petition to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in hopes of being represented by a union for the first time in the history of college athletics.
According to ESPN's Outside the Lines:
Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, filed a petition in Chicago on behalf of football players at Northwestern University, submitting the form at the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board.
Backed by the United Steelworkers union, Huma also filed union cards signed by an undisclosed number of Northwestern players with the NLRB—the federal statutory body that recognizes groups that seek collective bargaining rights.
The move is unprecedented and the first step in a long process toward being recognized as employees of the university. It runs against the concept of "amateurism" that the NCAA has continued to champion over the years, despite vocal protests to abandon it in favor of a compensatory system of some sort.
This is a big step in the direction of NCAA reform, but there is still a long ways to go, especially after it released a statement opposing the petition.
Here are some important things to know about Tuesday's milestone event.