And More NFLPA Shenanigans?

Jul 22, 2011

EDITOR’S NOTE July 25, 2011: Looks like the CBA is being ratified by the active players today and now the battle is just beginning for the retired players. Hall of Famers listed in our Declaration of Independence have been receiving calls all weekend directly from people at the former NFLPA asking them why they signed on to this movement. And some retired player reps inside the former NFLPA offices are sending out messages and calling retirees to try and keep everyone confused and herded into their corner. So NOW you start calling retirees? AFTER the negotiations are done? Retired players were not allowed into final discussions and negotiations even after the judge ordered both the League and the active players to acknowledge and include them equally. So now the negotiations are over and no one can even provide details on what exactly has been “negotiated” as table scraps for retirees and they want each of you to simply roll over and take what they toss you as an afterthought? The NFLPA has already been found guilty of breach of fiduciary duty in the past and have done little or nothing to improve the lives and conditions for its retired player community as a whole. Retired players want to manage and gain full access to their own disability and pension benefits. NOW. Please be sure to sign the Retired Players Declaration of Independence – Click HERE. And be sure to pass it along!
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I just received my shiny new NFLPA membership card and letter a couple of days ago and boy, can a lot of stuff change in a year. First of all, the CBA is still being debated among the player reps inside the PA so the ‘Union’ is still basically decertified. Which should mean that they can’t represent the players – active OR retired. And one of the reasons why individual players like Drew Brees and Tom Brady had to file suit against the League and the owners individually. So what’s a poor Union to do? Well, take a look at the letter I just got from Nolan Harrison, Senior Director NFLPA Former Players, (on NFLPA stationery, no less) sent along with my new card (click on the thumbnails to enlarge for easier reading):
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And here’s the front and back of my shiny new NOT-Your-Mother’s-Union card:
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It’s obvious that this card was probably a last-minute afterthought when it dawned on the Union – after they got slapped with a lawsuit – that they were no longer a Union and that their membership cards were invalid along with just about everything else. So here we are getting new cards sent out a week before the new CBA gets ratified. This had to have cost thousands of dollars to issue. So now that we have these new cards, I guess they’ll have to issue even newer cards in a few weeks since they’ll be calling themselves a “Union” again. For thousands of dollars more.
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BTW – here’s the front and back of last year’s card:
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What’s now missing from this new card? The AFL/CIO logo. Oh, of course -  they’re not a Union any longer! But what’s a 501 (c) (6) Professional Organization that casually got slipped into that letter? Here’s the description directly taken from the IRS website:
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A Nonprofit? You have got to be kidding! And the key wording is, “and professional football leagues, which are not organized for profit and no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

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So what do you call $16 million+ in deferred royalties and payments to Gene Upshaw and his estate? A charitable donation? Looks to me like they’re trying to bamboozle retired players into rolling over again. With a so-called Union like this, who needs enemies?

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4 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Tom Goode
    July 26th, 2011 at 7:20 am #

    Tom Goode

    Is there any chance at all that the NFL players of our generation will see an increase in our pension checks?

    Tom Goode
    Houston Oilers, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Colts
    1962 – 1970hecks?

  2. Bob Babich
    July 26th, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Bob Babich

    Dave,

    As a retired NFL’er – and like the rest of us – it is important to see increases in our pensions and possible health benefits. My question is: What are we getting with this new agreement? There hasn’t been much if anything said about increases in pensions and benefits. What have you heard?

    Bob Babich
    1970 – 1978
    Sand Diego Chargers, Cleveland Browns

  3. Nick Murphy
    July 27th, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    Nick Murphy

    If you played in the pre-1993 era, it’s just a fact of life that you’ll never get anything resembling what post-1993 players get. Is it fair? No. But it’s the way it is.

    It’s a business and there is no legal or business obligation to offer more money to retired players. At the time we all signed contracts, we had a choice to sign or not. The fact that the League has gone on to be wildly successful has very, very little to do with anything.

    If the League didn’t flourish, would you see older players asking for money out of the BK settlement? Nope. Be happy you got to play in the NFL and support current players and be happy for what they have.

    Nick Murphy
    punter
    Baltimore Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles
    2004 – 2005

  4. Burt Grossman
    July 28th, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    Burt Grossman Cover

    I don’t think a back up punter with 3 teams in 2 years that isn’t even vested could know what it’s like for older players from an era with Civil War-style medical knowledge as well as zero concern for player safety issues. I find it offensive that a punter who’s never been subjected to any kind of physical trauma would even comment on this issue.

    Burt Grossman
    San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles
    1989 -1994