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Family played key role in Colter's push for union for college athletes

  • Union Colter Football.JPEG

    Kain Colter, a former quarterback for Northwestern University, sits during an interview with The Associated Press in Bradenton, Fla., Thursday, March 27, 2014. A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board decided in favor of the Northwestern players to unionize following a decision on Wednesday, March 26. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush) (The Associated Press)

  • College Athletes Union .JPEG

    FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2013 file photo, Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter (2), wears APU for "All Players United" on wrist tape as he scores a touchdown during an NCAA college football game against Maine in Evanston, Ill. The decision to allow Northwestern football players to unionize raises an array of questions for college sports. Among them, state schools vs. public schools, powerhouse programs vs. smaller colleges. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File) (The Associated Press)

  • 7de75c131ffea90c4f0f6a7067006862.jpg

    FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2013 file photo, Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter (2) wears APU for "All Players United" on wrist tape while celebrates with running back Stephen Buckley (8) and wide receiver Kyle Prater (21) after scoring a touchdown in an NCAA college football game against Maine in Evanston, Ill. The decision to allow Northwestern football players to unionize raises an array of questions for college sports. Among them, state schools vs. public schools, powerhouse programs vs. smaller colleges. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File) (The Associated Press)

  • 462807104056b00c4f0f6a70670015e2.jpg

    Kain Colter, a former quarterback for Northwestern University, stands during an interview with The Associated Press in Bradenton, Fla., Thursday, March 27, 2014. A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board decided in favor of the Northwestern players to unionize following a decision on Wednesday, March 26. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush) (The Associated Press)

The face of a movement to let college athletes unionize got his inspiration from his late grandmother.

Kain Colter says his grandmother was the manager of a law firm office in Colorado and frequently talked about rights and equality.

The Northwestern quarterback says his grandmother would have been proud in his role in pushing the union issue. A decision from a labor official in Chicago this week said that athletes should be considered employees and be able to bargain with the university.

His grandmother died recently and was buried in some of his Northwestern gear.

Northwestern plans to appeal the ruling to the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C., and reiterated Friday that it believes athletes are students, not employees.

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