Fourth and Goal on the NFLPA Players Inc. Lawsuit
- Calls for Unity Among Retired and Active NFL Players and Transparency with the League -
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 (www.nflplayers.com) 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.