Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) — Members of the Northwestern University football team are attempting to create the first athlete-specific union in the history of college sports, a move they say is aimed at gaining more financial and legal rights.

The newly formed College Athletes Players Association has submitted a petition to the National Labor Relations Board asserting the rights of college athletes against National Collegiate Athletic Association rules that they say are unjust. The petition was backed by the United Steelworkers union, which will pay the association's legal fees.

Northwestern senior quarterback and co-captain Kain Colter said today at a press conference that college players need representation similar to that in professional leagues such as the National Basketball Association and National Football League.

"We're asking for a seat at the table to get our voice heard," said Colter, a co-founder and board member of the association.

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