The NFLPA is Pissed!

so_pissed_offOK. So it’s been a couple of weeks since Aaron Gordon wrote his 3-part article on retired players and their seemingly endless battle for their earned benefits. Apparently, it didn’t go over too well with the NFLPA who released a full-blown response on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. Guess the Union is pissed…

Keep in mind this is the same Union that had been run by Gene Upshaw for years with little oversight and no obligation to help most retired players. (In fact, Upshaw actually declared at one point that he DIDN’T work for retired players until we pointed this out on their membership cards. Click HERE to read that old post from February 2008.)

And I just had a long phone conversation with Gordon Wright earlier this afternoon about his frustration in pursuing disability benefits over the years while also trying to have the League acknowledge his time on injured reserve during his years playing in the NFL. Without that disabled time, the League has tried to disqualify him from his full benefits, even with letters and documentation from his team acknowledging his time on the roster. (We’ll be posting more of Gordon’s story soon.)

Continue reading

Aaron Gordon: Battle for Benefits PART 3

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Part 3 of Aaron Gordon’s 3-part series on VICE Sports on what happens to the older retired players after they retire from their years on the gridiron. Joe DeLamielleure was one of the toughest guys on the field for 13 years and one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met off the field. There is no reason for any of these older players to be treated the way they’ve been treated when they retire, considering the contributions each of them has made for the game and the players of today.

I continue to hope that more and more of the growing legion of fans finally get educated on the mistreatment these sports heroes have put up with so the NFL finally chokes on their PR nightmare enough to take care of them in the way they deserve. Re-posted with permission of the author. Thank you VICE Sports for having the balls to expose this!


Don’t Make Proud Men Beg

by Aaron Gordon

(Editor’s note: In this three-part series, VICE Sports examines the difficulties former NFL players face in obtaining medical care and adequate benefits after retirement.)

Joe DeLamielleure is 64 years old and still in relatively good health, which is no small thing considering he played for 13 years as an offensive lineman in the 1970s and 1980s, perhaps the NFL’s most brutal era. He has been married to his loving wife, Gerri, for 43 years in what she described in a recent interview as “marital bliss.” Together, they have raised six children—four biological, two adopted—housed three other children for short periods, plus have 11 grandchildren.

In these respects, DeLamielleure is about as lucky as one can be. As he moves towards his seventh decade, the Pro Football Hall of Famer should be thinking about retirement and spending more time with his family. Only that’s not possible on his NFL pension, which pays DeLamielleure $1,257.96 a month after taxes—or just over $15,000 a year, an amount that’s just below the federal poverty level of $15,930 for a family of two. Continue reading

A List That Keeps Growing

You never know what you’ll stumble across on the Internet these days. Just came across this extensive NFL player CTE list on Wikipedia of all places and had to share it. While it may not be complete, it’s one of the best collections of players’ names that I’ve seen in one place. My regards to JMyrleFuller for starting and maintaining this list!

Click on the image to go to the Wikipedia page.

Wikipedia CTE list

Continue reading

Aaron Gordon: Battle for Benefits PART 2

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s Part 2 of Aaron Gordon’s 3-part series on VICE Sports covering the personal experiences that too many retired NFL players endure after they leave the game. George Visger has become a close and trusted friend over the years. His personal battle is both inspirational and hard to read when you hear about the obstacles he’s had to endure since leaving the 49’ers after their Super Bowl XVI victory in 1981. I’ve told many of my football-loving friends that George is the poster boy for the NFL’s retired player policy. And I tell George that he’d probably be in Mensa today had he not chosen to go down the path of playing football when he was young. Re-posted with permission of the author. And kudos to Aaron Gordon!


George Visger’s Many Lives

Continue reading

Aaron Gordon: Battle for Benefits PART 1

EDITOR’S NOTE: Over the years, we’ve covered a lot of individual player’s battles in fighting for their earned benefits. Aaron Gordon has recently started a 3-part series on VICE Sports detailing more of these experiences that retired NFL players endure after they leave the game. Over 90% of retired players receive little or no disability benefits – those who apply generally get turned down as you’ve read in many of our earlier posts.

And as we continue to point out, if the NFL turns them down consistently, they have nowhere else to turn to except our government-run programs, including Social Security Disability programs. Whether you even watch football or not, the NFL continues to make each of us pay for their obligations. Re-posted with permission of the author.


“Why Do I Have to Fight You Now?”

by Aaron Gordon

(Editor’s note: In this three-part series, VICE Sports examines the difficulties former NFL players face in obtaining medical care and adequate benefits after retirement.)

kyle-turley-01 Continue reading

A Real Discussion about Football and the NFL

At last, a deeper discussion about where football has come from and how the game finds itself in the place it has arrived today – the good, the bad and the ugly. Hosted at the 2015 Bay Area Book Festival earlier this summer and moderated by Peter Richardson (professor San Francisco State University), the panel includes Steve Fainaru (co-author League of Denial), sports journalist and writer Dave Zirin and retired player and former NFLPA rep David Meggyesy.

You’re going to love Dave Zirin’s blunt observations about Roger Goodell…

The video from ForaTV won’t embed so just click on the picture below and it should take you directly to their site so you can watch this one-hour discussion.

Continue reading

Official Trailer for Will Smith’s Movie Concussion

Our friend, Dr. Bennet Omalu, first stirred things up with the NFL back in 2002 when he began his autopsy on Mike Webster. Even then, he knew something was not right. Since that first discovery, Dr. Omalu has done more brain autopsies on deceased football players and produced numerous papers on the study of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) that the NFL subsequently tried to suppress and discredit.

We had the privilege of hearing Dr. Omalu’s personal story and discoveries during one of our Conferences. You can click HERE to watch his passionate talk from our 2013 Conference. Looks like Will Smith worked hard on getting Bennet’s accent down!

Here’s the first official trailer from the Sony production Concussion to be released this Christmas:

Continue reading

Retired Players: Back of the Bus… Again!

Bumper-StickerI don’t know about anyone else but I’m thoroughly disgusted by the NFL, the NFLPA and the lawyers once again. But what else is new? Seems like everyone is pushing hard to get the NFL’s concussion settlement pushed through as soon as possible. But it’s not because most retired players will actually get paid soon if at all. Most of you players are now realizing that CTE will NOT be acknowledged let alone covered with any of this settlement money. But the lawyers will get paid almost immediately after the final settlement is fully approved; and not just with that hefty $112 million legal fee treasure chest the League dangled in front of them. If any players get lucky enough to qualify for a settlement after you jump through their hoops and doctors’ mazes, your attorneys will pick up another 30 – 40% of any money you eventually receive. But we already knew that, right? So what’s going to get you worked up today? Continue reading

BIAA Brief Filed on Behalf of Retired Players

The Brain Injury Association (BIAA) filed an Amicus Curiae – or Friend of the Court – Brief yesterday on behalf of the retired NFL players who are defending their appeal against accepting the current NFL concussion lawsuit settlement offer. The Brief was submitted on their behalf by attorneys Shana De Caro and Michael Kaplen (De Caro & Kaplen, LLP).

We uploaded the 44-page BIAA Friend of the Court brief to Scribd for easy downloading, reading and printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the lower right corner of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close).

BIAA Amicus Curiae Brief favor of appellants

Continue reading

The Speech Sydney Seau was NOT Allowed to Make at Hall of Fame

This was the speech Sydney wanted to give in honor of her father, Junior Seau, at this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction yesterday.