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NFLPA: Our Way or the Highway

Nov 2, 2012

Another inside look at how the NFLPA functions at its core particularly when it comes to retired players: Bruce Laird spent many years alongside Sam Havrilak as officers of the local chapter for the NFLPA in Baltimore. And during many of those years, Bruce and his fellow alumni also ran Fourth and Goal, a nonprofit and advocacy group for retired players which managed to provide assistance to those players in need. Now that George Martin’s NFL Alumni has been marginalized, it seems that the NFLPA only recently noticed that Bruce and Sam have been running Fourth and Goal while also working within their Baltimore chapter! Hard to tell if the PA is trying to clean house now that the Alumni is gone or if they only just realized that Bruce and Sam have been voicing their opinions for years about the real plight of retired players. Perhaps Gene Upshaw stopped by to remind them…
Bruce wanted to be transparent with their recent removal as officers from the local NFLPA so he’s provided us with copies of the last exchanges that he and Sam have had with Nolan Harrison III and Cornelius Bennett of the NFLPA. The short version is once again My Way or the Highway. No criticism, no off-topic discussions on anything the NFLPA deems to censor. Everything’s just fine with the One-Locker mentality so long as it’s their locker. Wait until you read Nolan Harrison III’s chest-thumping about how much they had done for all retired players in the last CBA.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Different day, same message. We almost forgot that Gene Upshaw had the same attitude towards retired players back in 2007 before he passed away and took another $16 million with him. So is that why the NFLPA renamed the NFLPA retired players dire need fund and its building after him?!!


NFLPA Sends Threatening Memo To Retired Players Chapters

Upshaw’s Best Dog Food

Published April 17, 2007
NFLPA Director of Retired Players Andre Collins, in a memo dated March 30, “threatens to dissolve any retired chapter deemed guilty of conduct detrimental to the union’s best interests, as well as remove a chapter president,” according to Ken Murray of the Baltimore SUN. The memo states that NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw or NFLPA President Troy Vincent “can initiate proceedings to remove any retired chapter president, the retired players steering committee president or a steering committee member who has engaged in conduct detrimental to the NFLPA.” Upshaw or Vincent “also could move to close down a retired players chapter whose leaders have engaged in detrimental conduct.”
Read the rest of the article from Sports Business Daily - click HERE.
We uploaded copies of the letters and e-mails to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it downloadable for printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the lower right corner of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close). Also included at the end is a copy of an interesting letter written in 2010 from Cornelius Bennett (Chairman NFLPA Former Players Board of Directors) to George Martin, newly appointed Executive Director of the NFL Alumni at the time.
NFLPA to Sam Havrilak
NFLPA Bruce Laird Letters
NFLPA to George Martin

4 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Gordon and Glendora Wright
    November 2nd, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    Glendora and Gordon Wright

    The only unified group of employees who properly negotiated with their NFL Employers were the NFL Referees.

    Gordon Wright
    Philadelphia Eagles & New York Jets
    1967 – 1970

  2. Joanie Hardy
    November 5th, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Joanie Hardy

    You would think that with the high level of professionalism the NFL Players Association is assumed to possess, those who are required to interact with them would receive top-of-the-line service. Yet it is profoundly the worst professional organization with which I have come in contact – including CenturyLink!

    The lack of respect and lack of completion of what their positions of employment require is nothing less than astounding.

    Joanie Hardy

  3. John Hogan
    November 7th, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    John Hogan

    Just more nonsense from the PA and more proof (as if any is actually needed) that they really don’t care about retired players. Bruce and Sam have been tireless in their efforts to assist retired players with all aspects of their post-NFL lives.

    Instead of kicking them out of their position as officers, they should be giving them awards! They both have full-time jobs and the fact that they have stepped up to the plate to work for both the PA retired players and Fourth and Goal speaks volumes about them and their commitment to retired players, particularly in the Baltimore area.

    John Hogan
    Disability Attorney
    Retired Player Advocate

  4. Dave Pear
    November 7th, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Dave Pear


    We strongly agree with you! The NFLPA (De Smith, Harrison, Collins, etc.) ALL receive large salaries plus expense accounts, medical, 401-K, etc. (and I’m sure a whole lot more) to do their jobs. But Bruce and Sam donated their own time and money to do what the NFLPA has never really done for retired players. Plus look at all the work you’ve also done for these overpaid minions, John.

    What an insult.

    Thank you, John Hogan, Bruce and Sam for ALL your hard work. TOO-OOOO bad our phony union is not able to do much of anything other than come up with make-believe benefits that are worth next-to-nothing and then pat each other on their backs with their annual conventions in expensive faraway places that most of us can’t afford (in 2013, it’ll be held in Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas!).

    Dave Pear

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