Hopefully the UFC fighters begin to stand up for their rights, but they should also note they aren't alone. Tell me if any of these seems familiar USA Track and Field leaves 800m US champ Nick Symmonds off the roster for 2015 World Championship Cliffs notes: USATF signs a 23 year sponsorship with Nike, all athletes must wear Nike Nike paying USATF $20 million per year; 8% or less makes it to the athletes "Runners are independent contractors and do not have their own union, making it hard to get similar equality that athletes in other pro team sports have." Symmonds is our 800m champ, and won silver in Worlds, yet says he will get less than $13k from USATF, not a living salary Symmonds is sponsored by Brooks USATF athlete agreement says they must wear Nike, even when not competing "at official events," Symmonds admits he understands wearing Nike while competing because its team uniform, but won't sign agreement because being forced to wear it out of competition puts him in breach of his Brooks contract USATF pull the "without us you wouldn't be here" line: "USATF pays the broadcasting bill for the athletes to wear their sponsors in USATF Championship Series meets on TV, including national championships," Geer said. "Athletes and their personal sponsors don't have to pay for that national exposure. USATF pays for it." USATF claims athletes still free to get sponsor and wear them at non USATF events which led to this great line from Symmonds: "Yeah, a lot of value they're giving non-Nike sponsors by letting runners wear what they want at the Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic" Nike scrwed up with the kits, didn't even supply the girls with sports bra or shorts options USATF tried to cite NBA players "getting in line" wearing Adidas, but legal team called b.s. because basketball players got it worked in that they get paid by Adidas, basically showing that athletes with proper union/representation get treated fairly. Symmonds intending to bring legal action because he is our champ, he should get to represent the country At this point I think the big difference is Symmonds is taking a stand and many popular athletes/champs are backing him publicly (Lolo Jones, Jeremy Wairner etc.). this is what the UFC is really needing is current fighter to take a stand. My guess is this becomes a mess pretty quickly for USATF because the public will simply not accept us leaving our best athletes off the team (especially ones who can win Olympics medals) because they won't wear a Nike logo when hanging around outside of competition.