The Battle for Disability Benefits…
Many of you already know that when Dave played with the University of Washington Huskies and went into the NFL playing for the Baltimore Colts. Then it was on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the expansion draft. When they traded him over to the Oakland Raiders, he was part of the winning Superbowl XV team in 1981. (And Gene Upshaw was his teammate.)
Dave still has a big following back in Tampa and a recent article by Gary Shelton in The St. Petersburg Times talks about Dave’s battle for benefits (or lack thereof) from the NFL and NFLPA. Some quotes:
What bothers Pear, what angers him and saddens him and drives him, is the constant denial of benefits to veteran players by the NFL Players Association.
“They prefer to give millions to lawyers instead of taking care of former players,” Pear said. “It’s a whitewash, and it’s not even a good whitewash. It’s a shameful appearance that they’re trying to do something.
“I don’t want any sympathy. I want the NFL to pay their bills. When you go out to dinner, you pay your bill. You don’t hire lawyers and run out the back door. That’s what the NFL has done, and it’s shameful.”
Pear said he’s learned to live with the constant pain. What bothers him more is the constant fight for benefits, and the sacrifices his wife and two children have had to make because of his medical bills. And that so many others are in worse shape than he.
“If I knew that I was going to be hurt this bad and be abandoned by my employers,” Pear said, “then I wouldn’t have played football.”
You can read the rest of this article by clicking HERE.
(Just added) And check out the long collection of comments that have come in already.