The recent feud between USA Track & Field (USATF) and the Track & Field Athletes Association (TFAA) has been well documented in track and field circles, even garnering a Wall Street Journal front page story written by Sara Germano.
The athletes, led by TFAA president Adam Nelson, want a more fair and transparent governing body that takes the voices of athletes more seriously, and justifiably so. The events of indoor USA’s in Albuquerque were a scar on the sport that won’t soon be forgotten.
The TFAA has hinted at a boycott of this summer’s USA Outdoor Championships as one form of protest against USATF. With 2014 not being a Olympic or World Championship year and Brooks, Oiselle, and even Nike lining up in support of collective action by athletes without punishment of withholding pay, etc., many athletes will have less to lose if a boycott occurs. (It’s worth noting that they will be missing out on prize money for top eight finishes; see prize money structure from last year’s meet here.)
A boycott would certainly put a damper on Sacramento’s ability to host the meet this year but could also have ramifications on the city’s future relationship with USATF. Track & Field News reported last month that Sacramento would also win the rights to host the 2017 U.S. outdoor meet if organizers could sell 22,500 tickets to this year’s meet.
Good luck doing that without Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross, and other TFAA members participating.
Hear those sounds? Those are the folks at the Sacramento Sports Commission and USATF Pacific Association praying both sides can come to an agreement.