Fourth and Goal on the NFLPA Players Inc. Lawsuit

Nov 12, 2008

Fourth & Goal Applauds $28.1 Million Retired Player Verdict vs. NFLPA

- Calls for Unity Among Retired and Active NFL Players and Transparency with the League -

Fourth & Goal Calls for Retired Players and NFLPA to Unite

Fourth & Goal Calls for Retired Players and NFLPA to Meet on Issues

BALTIMORE,MD. (November 12, 2008) – Fourth & Goal, the nation’s leading advocacy group for retired NFL players, salutes Herb Adderly, Bernie Parrish, Walt Roberts, and almost 2100 other former NFL players who received favorable jury verdicts in their class action lawsuit against the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and its licensing and marketing arm, Players, Inc. In verdicts handed down in United States District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday, November 10th, the jury awarded the retired players $7.1M for breach of contract and $21M for punitive damages in failing to compensate the class of retired players for licensing their images in such things as video games.

Bruce Laird, President of Fourth & Goal, and a witness for the retired players in the court case said that the verdict “speaks volumes about what retired players have felt for years – that the players’ union claim to be representing them is an absolute lie, and may even be found to be criminal. It’s now been proven in a federal courthouse that there has been misconduct on the part of the union.”

Regrettably, the NFLPA has characterized the verdict as a “miscarriage of justice” on their web-site ( and vows to try to overturn the verdict. This position demeans the Court and the 10 jurors who came to these verdicts unanimously.

Further post-trial motions and appeals by the NFLPA will only serve to increase the financial obligations the union faces as a result of the verdict, and will only serve to widen the divide between retired NFL players and the Players’ union.

Fourth & Goal calls upon active NFL players and the NFLPA executive committee to put an end to any further appeals of the verdict; and to demand that their union and the League sit down with retired players to resolve their issues – including pensions and disability and representation by the new leadership of the NFLPA or NFL. Continued acrimony between the men who built the League and paved the way for the financial success today’s players and owners enjoy does not benefit either side.

We further call upon NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for openness and transparency in his on-going closed-door meetings with retired players. We strongly believe that the presence of players’ spouses and families would provide significant insight into the on-going problems many retired NFL veterans face. Fourth & Goal also urges that these meetings be open to knowledgeable advocates who can provide meaningful expertise towards solutions to many of the retirees’ problems. Additionally, we believe that the presence of active NFL players would be enlightening to them and a benefit to all.

3 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Dave Pear
    November 12th, 2008 at 10:05 am #

    Dave & Heidi Pear
    Fellow Retired and Active Players,

    We must ALL unite and be on the same team. United we stand and divided we fall. Active players will soon be retired players and in the same position we are today (retired players) and that is “without a union who supports them” if things don’t change.

    Commissioner Goodell, I petition you for open and transparent meetings. Spouses, caregivers and player representatives need to be allowed to attend these meetings. This dark cloud hanging over the NFL is only going to get darker until justice is served to the makers of the game.

    This disability system is broken and can’t be fixed! We need to start over and follow the guidelines laid out by ERISA Law and HIPAA. John Hogan is a disability expert that has already suggested the necessary and lawful changes to the existing illegal plan. Has the Chairman, Commissioner Goodell, had a chance to read it?

    Pensions need to match those in baseball and retired players need an equal seat at the bargaining table. Also, retired players need ongoing medical coverage after football. A deal is a deal and retired players are only asking for what was promised them. This fairness will benefit retired now and active players and in the future. It’s time we stopped these expensive NFLPA lawyers from using millions and millions of OUR pension fund money to line their pockets with legal fees.

    We will continue to stand firm and relentlessly petition for justice until justice is served.

    Dave & Heidi Pear

  2. Sharon Hawkins for Wayne
    November 13th, 2008 at 8:25 pm #

    Wayne Hawkins
    Since I have been communicating with Rep. Linda Sanchez’s office as well as Majority Leader, Harry Reid’s office RE: the inadequate pensions of the retired and disabled players, I will make sure – AGAIN – she and the Administrative Law group in Congress are aware that they need to REVIEW our situation AGAIN and force the NFL/NFLPA to follow the guidelines set by ERISA and HIPAA. As Dave & Heidi said, they must be made aware that millions of our pension fund money is wasted on the salaries of those NFL crooked lawyers…. and those who live in the NFL shadows.

    Is it time for a class action suit??

    Is Goodell a mental lightweight? I sense he has no idea how serious “we” are about correcting this travesty.

    Like a rumbling volcano sending messages with small quakes, we are the steam vents of a volcano, notifying those who pay attention, that more and more venting will be felt, heard and visible until this volcano finally erupts. The $28 million award is a metaphor for this volatile “pissed-off retired players volcano” announcing we have only just begun.

    Corny, but it fits.

    Sharon Hawkins

  3. Dick Bielski
    August 12th, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    Dick Bielski
    Good luck on your upcoming surgery. Let’s hope this will all be behind you soon. It’s been a long time.

    Dick Bielski