Mercury Morris: Roger Goodell Needs to Take a Walk…

Jul 9, 2010

Mercury Morris has recently been discussing an investigation into the NFL and its handling of the retired players’ disability and pension benefits. Here’s his synopsis of what he’s made available to select members of the media so far:

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I want to tell you about a story I would like to read about Roger Goodell. I only recently discovered that Roger Goodell, while serving under Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, sat as the 7th non-voting member of the Retirement Board. That means Goodell has been aware of all of the disability and retirement misconduct that occurred from the mid 90′s to the present. I recently met with Federal investigators on three occasions to discuss filing charges – both criminal and civil – against the Retirement Board and the Groom Law Group. Goodell has been scamming the public about his “honest effort” in helping the retired players that he’s perpetuated in the media. When we did the story last May about the Retirement Board making up a provision to exclude me from representing other retired players whose benefits had been compromised with the sole intent of saving these multimillionaire owners money, I wasn’t aware that Goodell had put Harold Henderson in that very same seat he had occupied to oversee the obvious corruption at the hands of the Retirement Board. Out of my meeting with the investigators, it was disclosed to me that the Department of Labor has been working with the Retirement Board to cover up disability and retirement pension misconduct from the Bush administration (helping big business) to the Obama administration attempting to cover it up.

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The devastating part of this story is that when they passed this phony exclusion-by-felony rule, the two people I had been representing were basically left to fend for themselves. Dwight Harrison had a son who committed suicide after Dwight’s disability benefits were taken away. His retirement benefit money which amounted to $130,000 was then used to pay the Groom Law Group for attorneys’ fees. Because of this, his family broke up and his son later committed suicide. The Retirement Board, under Goodell now have blood on their hands. Marian Klein, the widow of the late Dick Klein, lost her home because the “across-the-board benefit increase” that was given to everyone else was denied to her. Again, I was closing in on proving that both criminal and civil acts had occurred against a retired player’s widow for no other purpose than to beat her out of $200 a month.  Although they could never explain to her why she wasn’t entitled to this benefit that everyone else got, without me there to scrutinize their actions, they basically told her, “We lied about your exclusion, we have no real answer, and you’re still not going to get the benefit.” She too has gone through tough times, caring for her son who is now in the late stages of his battle with cancer. She had to move in with him after losing her home because of these people.

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I want to call out Roger Goodell in the press. This is the same Roger Goodell who, in a Retired Players meeting in Dallas last year, said about Dwight Harrison (in response to Dwight standing up and saying, “I am the poorest of the poor and I stand here embarrassed because of my situation.”), “I want this man helped.” What Goodell failed to say was that he was sitting in the Commissioner’s seat at the Retirement Board meetings where they had plotted to take away this man’s benefits and make him pay back all the money he had gotten from disability. They decided that they “made a mistake” and Dwight was never entitled to the disability benefit that he qualified for and had already been receiving. So they invented another amendment (much like they did with me) called “Overpayments” which was designed to unwind and take back all the benefit monies that were paid out for legitimate disability claims.

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Most of you who know me know that I’m not going to tell you anything that I can’t back up with facts and evidence. To those of you in the media: I want you to help me start this fight I intend to have with Roger Goodell since he’s the one running the show today. And now I know he’s putting his OK stamp from the Commissioner’s office and turning his back on the corruption that’s been going on, all while he’s had inside knowledge since he first started sitting in that seat on behalf of Commissioner Tagliabue.

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Let me put this in perspective: In the movie, “Mississippi Burning,” at the end when justice finally catches up with the Klan, one of the last scenes depicts the FBI agents at the Mayor’s house in the basement where the Mayor had hung himself. One of the agents turns and says to Willem DeFoe, “Why did the Mayor hang himself? He was the least involved.” Willem DeFoe replied, “Anybody who knew this was going on, allowed it to happen and did nothing about it is just as guilty as the people who did it.”

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Mull this over and get back to me. I have enough to make this “Summer School,” because all the fans need to know what they’re paying for when they walk into the stadiums and buy into that National Football League brand, its owners and Roger Goodell, the guy who works for them.

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Eugene Mercury Morris

Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers

1969 – 1976

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6 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Barbara Sandusky
    July 10th, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    Mike Sandusky
    Thank you for your hard work, Eugene!

    I’m still thinking that if something big doesn’t “break” soon, it will be time to contact filmmaker Michael Moore. If he needs my input on Mike’s behalf I’m more than willing. The pleading, e-mails and phone calls have done little or no good, but I believe there is a key to every lock. Let’s find it!

    Barb Sandusky
    Wife of Mike Sandusky
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    1957 – 1965

  2. Cody C. Jones
    July 10th, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    Cody Jones - Rams
    Mercury, you are giving the media an opportunity to step up and be counted. But I’d bet they’re more concerned for their lifestyles and won’t do a damn thing to shed any light on this situation. Goodell is just what the devilish owners ordered: somebody with no conscience, distant to former players by his actions at this time, and a punk-a** hypocrite. I am starting to wonder: Was it just a coincidence that Goodell and De Smith were in San Diego last weekend talk to rookies or do they consult with each other? It gets me ticked off and sick to my stomach at just what people will do for the love of money.

    Cody C. Jones
    Los Angeles Rams
    1974 – 1982

  3. Dave Pear
    July 11th, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    Dave Pear
    Hi Cody,

    Roger Goodell is a hypocrite and an impostor! He’s paid by the owners to do their dirty work and Goodell is more than willing to accept his annual salary of $12,000,000.

    Rep. Maxine Waters scolded Goodell in Washington Dc last year during the Congressional hearings and said, “It is time to remove the antitrust exemption from the NFL.”

    Thank you Rep. Maxine Waters for having the courage to speak the truth about the NFL scandal and their GREED!

    Regards,
    Dave & Heidi Pear

  4. Michael-Louis Ingram
    July 12th, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    Michael-Louis Ingram
    Mr. Morris -

    We would be honored to have you and any of the Retired Players come on our talk show and give you a forum in which you get to say what needs be said – it’s time to Ante Up! And pay those who built this league their just due…

    Mr. Pear and many others have come on air and you’re always welcome as well.

    Sincerely,
    Michael-Louis Ingram
    BASN
    michaelingram@blackathlete.com

  5. JB Brown
    July 14th, 2010 at 6:00 am #

    JB Brown
    Mercury,

    Thanks for your due diligence and your candor regarding Roger Goodell and the plight of retired players.

    JB Brown
    Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals & Detroit Lions
    1989 – 1999

  6. Roger Goodell: “New Sheriff in Town” or hypocritical dictator?
    June 16th, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

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