|Richard Berthelsen to step down as NFLPA General Counsel|
|Written by NFLPA|
|Thursday, 22 March 2012 14:23|
New York, New York - Today Richard Berthelsen announced at the annual NFLPA Player Representative meeting that he will be stepping down as NFLPA General Counsel on May 15 and will assume a senior consulting role with the organization.
The transition day will mark his 40th anniversary with the NFLPA.
“Building the game, to me, means making it better for players. Over the years, there have been so many that have stepped forward to do that. You here in this room have stepped forward as leaders to build this game,” Berthelsen said to the players shortly before receiving a standing ovation. “I hope you have Hall of Fame careers, all of you, but I’m going to remember you as the men who built this game. This has been an incredible, unbelievable experience.”
Berthelsen has played a pivotal role at the NFLPA since May 1972, when he joined the organization as a full time legal counsel and principal assistant. In 1983, he was appointed NFLPA General Counsel.
“Richard has dedicated his life to serving the players of the NFL, and we will never be able to adequately thank him for all he has done to improve the lives of our members, past, present and future,” said Kevin Mawae, NFLPA President. “I’ve had the privilege to work closely with Richard during the most tumultuous time in our organization’s history. He always conducted himself with professional integrity and his relationships with players are built on mutual respect.”
During his 40 years with the organization, Berthelsen has helped protect and defend the rights of players throughout the NFL. He was directly involved in drafting and negotiating the 1977, 1982, 1993 and 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreements between the NFLPA and the NFL, and extensions of the CBA in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2006. Berthelsen was also named the National Football League Players Association’s Acting Executive Director on August 21, 2008 following the passing of former Executive Director Gene Upshaw.
“Professional football would not be what it is today without Richard Berthelsen,” said DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA Executive Director. “He has been involved in protecting and advancing player rights for four decades, and in that time, he has been steadfast in his devotion to our membership. I want to personally thank him for helping me get through one of the most difficult periods in NFLPA history, and I know he’ll continue to work with us to defend players’ rights.”
Berthelsen has represented the NFLPA and NFL players in hundreds of grievance arbitrations and served as the Director of the NFLPA Legal Department, supervising an 11-person legal staff. He was also responsible for establishing the NFLPA’s Agent Regulation System as well as the network of NFLPA Workers Compensation Panel of Attorneys in NFL team cities. In addition to his work as principal NFLPA advisor to players and agents for individual contract negotiations with NFL clubs, Berthelsen has overseen the work of the NFLPA’s Salary Cap & Agent Administration and the Financial Programs and Advisor Administration departments.
Berthelsen’s experience in representing sport labor unions is not limited to the NFLPA. He served as General Counsel of the Major Indoor Soccer League Players Association from 1983 to 1991 and the North American Soccer League Players Association from 1982 to 1986. In addition, Berthelsen represented the United States Football League Players Association from 1983 to 1986, helping negotiate the league’s collective bargaining agreement in 1984. He also served as the chief CBA negotiator for the International Association of Track and Field Professionals in 1976.
Before joining the NFLPA in 1972, Berthelsen began his legal career as a practicing attorney for Murphy, Huiskamp, Stolper, Brewster & Desmond in Madison, Wisconsin. He obtained his Bachelor’s of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin, graduating with honors in 1966 and, in 1969, finished in the top 10 of his graduating class at Wisconsin’s Law School. He has since gone on to become one of the most respected lawyers in the United States, evidenced by his selection on Lawdragon Magazine’s 2005 list of the 500 leading lawyers in America. Berthelsen and his wife Sandy have three sons: Alexis, Brad and Cameron.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 22 March 2012 14:25|