Players getting screwed starts long before they enter the NFL. I don’t generally agree with John Oliver but If you had any doubt that college athletes should be paid, you won’t after you watch Oliver’s recent rant on HBO’s Last Week Tonight. If you don’t get P.O.’ed after watching some of the various comments made by some of the stooges in this scam…
On March 9, 2015, 26 wives and widows of NFL Hall of Fame inductees from over the years sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and David Baker, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as well as NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith holding them accountable for the neglect and shameful treatment of their husbands and all the other players who played pre-1993 football. The sacrifices made by the pre-1993 players continue to contribute directly to the game of football, the NFL and its players today and into the future. Yet it is these same players who are provided the least in pensions and benefits today, even as revenues continue to explode every year, to the benefit of all those in today’s League and a Union that also continues to ignore and disrespect those who provided the opportunities on the sacrifices of their bodies, their brains and their lives, in many cases. The wives and widows who provided these men the support they needed while playing and after they left the game deserve the respect of the League, the Union and its fans.
As of today, the NFL and Roger Goodell, the NFLPA and DeMaurice Smith, and David Baker, president of the Football Hall of Fame, have yet to respond.
We reproduced a copy of the letter on 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). Continue reading
Are you f*ckin’ kidding me? I mean seriously? The team doctor for the Steelers had some interesting comments to add to a discussion on ESPN about concussions in general and CTE in particular. In a nutshell, he declared that CTE was ‘rare’ and not a big deal for football. This from a doctor who’s supposed to be practicing under the Hippocratic Oath to care for his Master – er, patients. This from the same team that Dr. Bennet Omalu embarrassed with his first CTE study of Mike Webster’s brain after Webster died homeless on the streets of Pittsburgh in 2002.
Yep. The NFL now has a brand new Doctor No.
Well, as of last night, DeMaurice Smith is Executive Director of the NFLPA once again for 3 more years. And according to media articles now coming out, it was unanimous. But we also know how these people always vote: Unanimously. The NFL owners always do it that way. The NFLPA always does it that way. And – as any of the retired players who have ever applied and been turned down for disability benefits have also found out – it’s always a UNANIMOUS vote when all 3 players’ reps and all 3 owners’ reps on the Disability Board turn down 90% of your claims.
(They even have rules on parliamentary order and protocol that are followed almost universally for procedure. They’re called Robert’s Rules of Order.)
Here’s the first round of votes as provided by one of the reps who was actually there in Maui for all the action: Continue reading
EDITOR’S NOTE: With the NFLPA Executive Director position up for voting this weekend – in Maui once again no less – there are more questions than answers when it comes to the State of the Union (pun intended). Patrick Hruby takes one more detailed pass at some of the interesting details on the downfall of what should have been an opportunity after the demise of Gene Upshaw. Outside of the Union offices are there very many players who are actually happy with DeMaurice Smith’s “boring” performance?
Who Ruined the NFL Players Union?
When the National Football League Players Association gathers in Hawaii this weekend for its annual meeting, executive director DeMaurice Smith will be on the ballot for reelection — and unlike his unopposed, rubber-stamped renewal in 2012, he’ll have seven challengers this time around, an unprecedented number for a union that has had only four executive directors in its 47-year history. The contenders for the March 15 election include former players Sean Gilbert and Robert Griffith; attorneys Jim Acho and Andrew Smith; current and former NFLPA executives Jason Belser and Art McAfee; and even a retired U.S. Navy admiral, John Stufflebeem. All are vying to influence professional football’s future, and while each has a unique vision of what that should look like, they agree on this much: DeMaurice Smith has failed, and he must go.
Well, the election for Executive Director of the NFLPA is coming up this weekend and for the first time, the slate of candidates is not limited to a few candidates. Going up against incumbent DeMaurice Smith are Jason Belser (NFLPA’s senior director of player services and development), former players Robert Griffith and Sean Gilbert, attorneys Jim Acho, Art McAfee and Andrew Smith, as well as Rob London (VP sports and entertainment at Dow Lohnes PLLC) and retired U.S. Navy Adm. John Stufflebeem.
Retired player Sean Morey was also trying to get on the ballot but didn’t manage to get the three needed nominations from the PA’s executive committee. However, Sean did manage to send in a request for important information that he felt all the candidates and union members were entitled to know. We always thought unions were supposed to be transparent and represent their dues-paying members. Apparently not, according to the NFLPA…
We’ve posted a copy of Sean Morey’s letter 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).
EDITOR’S NOTE: We received this infographic late last year from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center with permission to share with our readers:
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have many faces. Depending upon where a blow to the head strikes or if a person suffers a closed brain injury or an object penetrates the skull, these factors and more can determine the severity of the injury and how it impacts the person over the course of time. There may be serious complications that affect a person’s everyday life, or only minor symptoms that go away over time. And depending on the force and extent of the initial injury, it’s often hard to tell if a person will fully recover.
Yet, TBI is often misunderstood and unrecognized. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from a traumatic brain injury each year. In addition, 50,000 people die from TBI each year and 85,000 people suffer long term disabilities. Currently, more than 5.3 million people in the U.S. are living with disabilities caused by TBI.
How Does TBI Happen?
EDITOR’S NOTE: In case any of you have forgotten, the NFLPA Executive Director gig is coming up for election in Hawaii. Patrick Hruby provides us with a great post on the candidates and the real issues that the players – retired and active – seriously need to consider. Most of these issues were serious when DeMaurice Smith took over from Gene Upshaw a few years ago. Today those same issues are now critical. And never discussed. We can only hope that the new roster of candidates running for that spot continue to keep the real issues in front of everyone and Smith is held accountable for everything they continue to tout as improvements during his reign as Emperor of the NFLPA.
The NFL Union Head Election is Turning Ugly and Shady
by Patrick Hruby
The upcoming election for the National Football League Players’ Association executive director will decide who leads NFL players in working with — or against — league owners and commissioner Roger Goodell. It will set the future course of professional football.
Five candidates currently are running against incumbent NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith. Three of them — labor attorney Andrew Smith, labor attorney James Acho, and former NFL punter and Navy Admiral John Stufflebeem — told VICE Sports that the union hasn’t provided basic information on its finances or other important business matters. A fourth candidate, retired player Sean Morey, sent a six-page letter to NFLPA president and Cincinnati Bengals lineman Eric Winston last week, requesting an extensive list of documents and asking detailed questions about the organization’s legal relationships, pension plan, health care programs, staff compensation, and more.
In an email response, Winston rejected Morey’s request, telling him that the information already available to the candidates was “enough.”
“I just feel like there are a lot of pressing questions,” Morey says. “And it’s critical to understand the job you’re walking into.”
“There needs to be transparency,” Andrew Smith says. “No one really knows what’s going on.”
“What Sean [Morey] is after is exactly right,” Stufflebeem says. “But I’m not surprised he was rebuffed. That’s the culture of the NFLPA.” Continue reading
EDITOR’S NOTE: Another detailed post for your weekend, covering more of the forgotten or hidden history of football deaths over the years from Matt Chaney. Once again, more support for What-did-they-know-and-when-did-they-know-it? We can only hope Judge Brody reads this…
Since 1960, at least 16 NFL players have died of injury, a game-related condition or a possible link to football, impacted by inadequate medical management. Meanwhile, “public football” stokes a hot Q&A with Irv Muchnick, the iconoclastic sports journalist whose new book chronicles fall of the game as we know it.
By Matt Chaney
Posted Saturday, February 28, 2015
In 1960 America, a football player was not only exposed to lethal injury and illness of the extreme sport. Once a casualty, he was vulnerable to shoddy medical response as well, beginning in professional football.
You would think even this many retired players and their families filing Opt Outs from the NFL concussion lawsuit settlement “offer” would have been enough to persuade the judge to move this case into a full trial complete with discovery. But it looks like the lawyers may have won this round again and locked almost everyone into a very bad deal.
We’ve uploaded the full list 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). Continue reading