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{ First MLBPA Executive Director was a pioneer in protecting players' rights. }
Author: NFLPA Communications Posted: 11/27/2012

The NFL Players Association today mourns the loss of Marvin Miller, the first Executive Director of the MLB Players Association.

“Marvin exemplified guts, tenacity and an undying love for the players he represented,” said NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. “He was a mentor to me, and we spoke often and at length. His most powerful message was that players would remain unified during labor strife if they remembered the sacrifices made by previous generations to make the game better. His passion for the players never faltered, and men and women across all sports are in a better place thanks to his tireless work.”

“Marvin was the definition of a leader,” said NFLPA President Domonique Foxworth. “By challenging team owners and league commissioners and successfully protecting and enhancing the rights of players, he proved that labor unions were necessary in sports.”

Miller, who was called a gifted economist, served as the union’s executive director from 1966 until 1983 and negotiated the MLBPA’s first collective bargaining agreement. Under his leadership, players secured independent arbitration, free agency and advancements in wages, benefits and working conditions.

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