The Summit is On!
We’ve been asked many times over the past few weeks about the status of the Independent Summit for NFL Retired Players. It can now be announced that it will take place in Las Vegas on May 28 – 31. Those involved in helping to organize this effort to get all of us together as an Independent Group of NFL Retired Players include me, Tony Davis, Joe DeLamielleure, Dave Pear, Disability Attorney John Hogan, Jeff Nixon, Ben Lynch, Marvin Cobb, Bob Grant, Abner Haynes and Bruce Laird. There are a lot more NFL Retired Players who have assisted in multiple ways with this effort and too many to mention in this announcement. Many of these men have helped by consulting with us. We communicate almost daily and are working to make sure that this event will provide a new direction for NFL Retired Players. What also must be mentioned is that others have been asked to be a part of the organizational process but have chosen not to participate.
Getting any group of people together is difficult. Dealing with the issues of the NFL Retired Players made it even more difficult but we’ve been able to work through many issues and personal feelings to come to a consensus on how to assist this movement. We’ve had our differences in getting here but have chosen to listen to all involved so that any decisions we make are well-informed, educated and thought out. We agree that no advocate group will be uninvited. Every man who put on the NFL or AFL uniform is welcome. Any and all NFL Groups, including the Alliance and Gridiron Greats are invited. And – last but not least – every wife or caregiver of any NFL Retired Player is an honored invitee.
This group of men who have organized this Summit have done this because the NFL and the NFLPA Retired Players organizations have consistently made it clear that assisting the NFL Retired Players is not their priority. They have explained in no uncertain terms to NFL Retired Players that we do not have a vote. There’s already been a great deal of work done on behalf of the NFL Retired Players, to continue to lobby a variety of different entities that can affect the changes for a new Pension and new Disability Plan.
We chose to do this because we felt, along with thousands of you, that we need a Voice in these matters and the Union that is supposed to represent us, gives us no voice. We chose Las Vegas because of the incredible Hotel rates offered to us and Las Vegas – as a domestic travel destination – may now be the cheapest in the country during these tough economic times. Before the Summit, we hope to announce some significant changes that will positively affect NFL Retired Players. We look forward to overwhelming participation from all of you. In the meantime we appreciate your letters of support and ask you to help. Spread the word, get involved – these are issues that affect your families and through collective efforts we think we can make a difference.