Bob Grant: Time to Come Together

Nov 12, 2008


A number of months ago I told you all that Gene had actually stated to a group of his gangsters the following: ” We don’t have to worry about dividing those assholes because they have divided themselves.” Let’s not let him be proven right.

I also stated to all of you some months back that I was a “Bernie Parrish Man” all the way. That has not changed. Upshaw, the NFLPA and the NFL feared – and fears – Bernie more than it does any man alive. That’s a fact. The NFL even offered to negotiate directly with the retired players if someone could get Bernie to “go away.” Ha ha ha. Fat chance of that ever happening. No one can dispute the commitment that Bernie, Herb and Walt had before any of the rest of us even dreamed that we could really take these Gangsters…

We could not have asked for a better Senior Statesman than my good friend Herb Adderley up in San Francisco. His class, polish and elegance had to be seen to be believed. I went up to San Francisco to show my support on both the Opening and Closing Arguments. Clifton McNeil kick their asses royally as the first witness to take the stand. I heard the NFLPA lawyers get up and lie through their teeth. I heard them say that they had not stolen our money and that even if they did, they had the right and authority to do it. Clifton was articulate and sharp in eating their lawyer alive. They could not wait to get him off of the stand and would probably have paid for a cab to take him to the airport if they were asked to.

Now that it has been established that those Gangsters lied, cheated, stole and conspired with lawyers and outside groups against us, the entire world sees who Upshaw and all the rest of them really were and are.

Now I hope we can make Gene a liar by not dividing ourselves. I know that together we can go after these bandits for the Pension Plan that Bernie has advocated for a long time (one like Major League Baseball). I’m sure that Abner Haynes brings leadership skills and wisdom that those crooks will never have. I hope that we can work toward establishing the Plan that Brent Boyd suggested many months back, that we can embrace the presentation that Jon Hogan has prepared, that we can build on the work that Bruce Laird has done for those of us who are in worst need, and that we can support the positions of Tony Davis and Jeff Nixon. I hope that we can follow Dave Pear’s example of intelligent, never-give-up fighting, and present ourselves as well as Herb did up in San Francisco. If we can do those things, we can whip these guys and reclaim our rightful place in the NFLPA. It was great seeing Hall Of Famer Bart Starr there supporting us. It would be nice have others like Terry Bradshaw, Michael Irvin and Harry Carson (away from that Alliance) join us.

May I suggest that under Bernie’s leadership all of us who have been Advocates can finally sit down and talk face-to-face, privately. I suggest that we have someone record in writing every single word spoken at that meeting so that we can send an accurate transcript to each of the men who are unable to attend. We have to show all of those who are waiting to help us that we speak with one voice now. By meeting as a group we can show that we the Advocates are the true Retired Player Reps. If you are open to this meeting or participation via phone or transcript, please let me know and we will make it happen.

In regard to the distribution of funds from the San Francisco trial, I am sure that the principals will be fair to all retired players. I know for a fact that Bernie Parrish didn’t start all of this because he was looking for a penny for himself. The NFLPA will probably appeal as many times as the law allows, so no money will be paid for maybe years to come. They will pay their Lawyers $75 million to try to avoid paying us that little 28 million. So there will be no money for anyone right now.

What’s important to each and every retired player, once again, is the Court’s verdict that these fools at the NFLPA screwed us royally. That opens the door for us to go after them for cheating us on our Pension Plan, Disability Plan and right to vote and participate in ALL NFLPA activities and decisions. It will also allow us to include good men who played less than four years. I am sure that there are other issues that many of you would also like to see addressed.

Advocates: Can we plan a meeting on all of this in the next 30 to 60 days? Please let me know if you are open to it.

We should do it together because the last thing that we want to see is the emergence of another “Important President-for-Life Gangster” leader of our union who sells us down the river. When we have done that, I am sure that we can approach the general population of retired players for a democratic leadership vote.

Bob Grant
Player Advocate
Retired Baltimore Colt

P.S. –  I understand that the League is working on marching the members of “their Alliance” out to speak against us and the Verdict even though the Verdict was not against them or the NFL selected Alliance. I do not recognize them at all, do you? I’m also not going to waste my time in going to any meeting with the Commissioner until he decides that he’s really going to do something worthwhile. When the League is ready to fully fund and hold a meeting with our true Advocates along with our own legal team, then I’ll attend.

2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Irv Cross
    November 13th, 2008 at 12:01 pm #

    Irv Cross

    It’s my hope the entire NFL Community looks at the recent Retired Players’ class action victory as an opportunity to fix a broken system. I felt the emotion that came along with this decision just as you, but if retired and active players are to make meaningful progress we will have to be rational and deliberate in moving our cause forward. That said, I don’t think anyone is helped by characterizing people as “gangsters”. I believe our primary focus now is to bring everyone together; retired and active players as well as the Commissioner. We need a plan. We need a representative group to execute that plan and the help of experts to get us there. Let’s not blow this opportunity by having our emotions get the best of us.

    As competitors we all know how momentum feels. When I was an Asst. with the Eagles we looked for those times during a game when the momentum began to swing our way. Usually it was a big play, hit or score! Thanks to Herb, Bernie and Walter the retired players made a BIG PLAY!! Let’s keep the momentum rolling.

    We’re all indebted to Herb, Bernie and Walter for moving the chains. Let’s all come together and finish the game with class. As active players we gave of ourselves to make the NFL the greatest game on earth; let’s do the same as retirees and make it a win/win for everyone.


  2. Willie Williams
    November 13th, 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    Willie Williams
    Mr. Bob Grant,

    I retired in February of 2007. I went to high school with Jason and played against him in college. I played 13 years in the NFL and it went by quickly. I just wanted to let you guys know that you have made a way for future NFL players.

    I’m glad that the public now knows how the union treated retired players. I had no idea the union was pulling stunts to keep retired players for collecting what belongs to them. Maybe you and I can connect in the near future. I’m part of the NFL retired players chapter here in Washington, DC.

    It will be a honor to meet you one day.