By Taking a Stand Against NFLPA, Marvin Harrison Jr. Follows Footsteps of Randall Cunningham, Michael Jordan, Barry Bonds

There aren't any Marvin Harrison Jr. jerseys available for Cardinals fans yet, and that may continue as the young WR battles for his NIL contract.

Marvin Harrison Jr. is as exciting a draft prospect as we’ve seen in recent history. The former Ohio State Buckeye is set to be the next great Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, and fans will soon be rooting for him while wearing his jersey in the stands.

However, before we get to that point, there seem to be some hoops that need to be jumped through. Those in which Harrison feels comfortable signing any licensing deal that would allow NFL fans to officially begin wearing his apparel.

What’s Happening With Marvin Harrison Jr. and the NFLPA?

As it currently stands, Harrison is not under contract with the NFLPA. It’s an otherwise standard agreement between the player and the Players Association upon entering the league.

For Harrison, it isn’t necessarily a disagreement with the PA that is holding him up, it’s with Fanatics, the provider of NFL apparel, and his prior arrangement with them that has made this situation far more difficult than in most cases.

Harrison still doesn’t have an NFLPA licensing deal, and his jersey isn’t available for purchase because of it. The issue lies in Harrison reportedly having an existing deal with Fanatics, and his refusal to sign the NFLPA deal arises from a desire to re-do that Fanatics contract before doing so.

As far as professional sports go, Harrison isn’t the first player to go down this path, and most likely, he won’t be the last.

Others who have battled with NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) issues throughout the years include legendary quarterback Randall Cunningham, MLB star Barry Bonds, and even NBA great Michael Jordan. All at one point decided to take matters into their own hands and not sign on the dotted line as most others have in their professions.

Those are some big-name players who have decided to push back. Bill Belichick did something similar as well as a coach, which prevented him from appearing in any rendition of the popular Madden video games that are released each year.

Why Wasn’t Harrison in Rookie Photo?

Harrison’s absence from the Class of 2024 rookie photo could be attributed to his lack of a signed deal with the NFLPA and his refusal to operate under his current contract with Fanatics.

As it stands, Harrison appears in no rush to make any public appearances with his Name, Image, or Likeness available for profit until he can restructure whatever is holding him up at this time.

How Does NFLPA Affect Name, Image, and Likeness?

As far as NIL goes in the NFL, the NFLPA is everything in an official capacity. If a player wants to make their own branding deal and do their own specific apparel situation, they have every right to do so.

However, when it comes to officially licensed gear with the NFL’s stamp of approval, it cannot be achieved without a license agreement with the NFLPA in place.

It seems that Harrison’s discrepancies are in the fact that he’s unhappy with the current deal he signed in college. With his NFL career set to begin, he doesn’t appear willing to jump into a new deal while also being under contract with another situation he’s not comfortable with.

Why Is Fanatics Suing Harrison?

Since Harrison has decided to drag his feet, Fanatics has decided to take action against the WR and sue for breach of contract.

The merchandise company filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court on Saturday night, claiming Harrison refused to fulfill obligations from a contract he signed in May 2023. They also cited that he has “publicly asserted” that the contract does not exist.

MORE: Top Burning Question for All 32 NFL Teams as OTAs Begin

It is believed that the contract Harrison signed is for “at least $1 million,” but for reasons not known at least publicly, it appears he’s upset with the current agreement.

Who Is Michael Rubin?

Michael Rubin is the outspoken, celebrity owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, as well as the owner of Fanatics — the merchandising giant that is locking horns with Harrison and his representation.

Rubin is seen throughout many celebrity circles, with athletes and entertainers as well as being known for throwing an annual summer bash attended by A-listers. Rubin has become the who’s-who of celebrity mentors and has often been around young athletes as a mentor, and someone who is viewed as a positive influence for many of these budding stars.

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