Final NFL Films Settlement Offer: Good or Bad?

Apr 9, 2013

Gene Marie UpshawA few years ago, we could hear the cussing all the way from NFLPA Headquarters in Washington DC when someone explained the meaning of our Gene Marie Antoinette “Let ‘em eat cake” picture to Gene Upshaw. Well, after hearing Judge Magnuson’s comments about retired players objections to the proposed NFL Films settlement offer, we decided to post a new Marie Antoinette picture (you can see it at the bottom of this post). But first, a little background – here’s the article from the Boston Herald/Associated Press reporters who were covering the hearing in the courtroom yesterday:

NFL retiree publicity rights settlement approved

Monday, April 8, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS — The $50 million settlement between the NFL and a group of retired players over publicity rights was given preliminary approval Monday by a federal judge who likened some of the retirees to petulant children for complaining about the money now that it has been awarded.
The settlement of the class-action lawsuit was reached last month, but some of the plaintiffs opposed the agreement, arguing it’s not good enough. U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson said in his order that the contentious nature of the case and the complexity and expense of further litigation “weigh heavily in favor” of final approval of the settlement, which could take place this summer.
“It is the height of disingenuousness for these same plaintiffs to now complain, like children denied dessert, that the settlement does not benefit enough the individuals who brought the lawsuit,” Magnuson wrote. “The benefits of this settlement to the class are plain: it will assist those who most need assistance, and will resolve the very problem that this lawsuit seeks to address by allowing former players true access to the value of their rights of publicity. Every hour of attorney time spent opposing the settlement only diminishes the value of that settlement to the members of the class.”
Read the rest of the Boston Herald article by clicking HERE.
Do you think the settlement offer is fair? Is there actually anything in the offer for the majority of retired players to actually see any monetary benefits over the entire term of the settlement while the NFL will likely walk away with hundreds of millions in new revenues? Was it inappropriate for Judge Magnuson to referred to retired players Plaintiffs “children denied dessert”? What happened to all the money the NFL has already made and put into their own pockets over the years? Does anyone even know how much money the re-sale of old NFL games will be generating over the next 10 years? We’ll be discussing these topics and more at our upcoming 2013 IFV Conference in Las Vegas May 3 – 5. Book your flight and hotel reservations NOW before our special discount rates go away next week - then click HERE to lock in your registration for FREE admission to the most important Conference for retired players in years!

Judge Marie Antoinette


11 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Ron Pritchard
    April 10th, 2013 at 6:52 am #

    Ron Pritchard Bengals

    Dealing with dishonest people will always result in dishonest results! What a shame that this dispute will most likely reward people that never strapped-up, taped-up or split blood on the football field in the NFL. The NFL is like knowing you’re going to fight the toughest guy in school but you will have to wait a week to do it.

    In our NFL experience, that waiting on a weekly and yearly basis was maddening but you did it! You knew that he was going to take a little bit of you and you were going take some back from him. It’s a tough and vicious game. It will and does leave us with life-long injuries. Yet these lawyers (including the NFLPA) always manage to reap all the benefits that rightfully belong to the former players? This is the greatest team sport in all the world while playing but when it comes to reconciling and pulling together as brothers-in-arms over doing what’s right and what’s best for the entire team, they forget the all-for-one rule and protect only SELF.

    The problem as I see it is that we as ex-players are too lazy to fight back as a team and let our voices be heard. Let’s not allow dishonest people to continue doing dishonest things while we do nothing about it but complain! I call on all formers players to use this platform I’m posting on here to support the Dryer case against losing our the imaging rights! If you don’t take the time to read, get informed and write, you’re just like the other guys and will get what THEY think you deserve – which is NOTHING! That’s not what made you one of the greatest football players in the world at one time. It was your gift of athleticism and your determination to succeed. Fire that inspiration back up again to fight the bullies who still dare to take your lunch money and expect no fight back from you!

    We can make a difference together against this shameless group of wrongdoers. We just have to keep moving forward and it must be now!!!

    Ron Pritchard
    Houston Oilers, Cincinnati Bengals
    1969 – 1977

  2. Barbara Sandusky
    April 10th, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    Mike Sandusky

    Yes, Judge Magnuson spoke inappropriately! In my humble opinion, the benefits of this settlement to the class are not clear at all. I would need to hear a full explanation of the following terms as used in this “settlement”:

    • Cause
    • Fund
    • Licensing Agency
    • Common Good

    To quote one retiree, “Where’s the money?” It all sounds to me like another NFL financial tap dance. Write it down clearly. As lawyers sometimes say, “D-O-C-U-M-E-N-T IT …after, of course, it is agreed upon by both sides.

    Mike & Barb Sandusky
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    1957 – 1965

  3. Mike Davis
    April 10th, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    Mike Davis Block

    What a rip!!! The “Greater Good Fund”?!! Absolute nonsense!!!

    Again bad business and a smoke-and-mirror hand off by the NFL.

    I’ve been told I lost my mind a few times but this is certainly not one of those times! If you or I accept this offer from the other side in this NFL Films class action, you will certainly have lost your mind and all your dignity. This lawsuit needs to go to trial! We all need to support it and not settle too soon. Does the GLA ring a bell??? Let’s not make the same mistakes on this one. Surely we’ve learned something from the past.

    Stay on the facts of our case. Do NOT let their PR spin sidetrack you!

    Mike Davis
    Oakland Raiders
    1977 – 1987

  4. Joe Steed
    April 10th, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Joe Steed

    What needs to occur is that the lawyers for the Plaintiffs – US – have to establish appeal arguments and precedent for a greater scope of settlement based on the long-established precedence and practices of law for actors and actresses via SAG. The compensation of image exploitation runs parallel to Hollywood entertainment contracts. The NFL exists in the same media arena as TV and Film production, therefore precedence should already be established for those players and additional revenues created via the time value of money.

    Maybe they might also want to see if there is a conflict of interest by the Judge Paul Magnuson – Is a Minnesota Vikings season tickets holder, etc? Pass it on…

    Joe Steed
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    1992 – 1999

  5. Walt "Flea" Roberts
    April 10th, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Walt Roberts

    It’s not a good deal. How much have the players been defrauded already?

    All the players should be compensated! End of story.

    Walt “Flea” Roberts
    Cleveland Browns NFL champs 1964 (’65 & ’66)
    New Orleans Saints 1967
    Washington Redskins 1969 & 1970

  6. Lionel James
    April 10th, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    Lionel James

    Where is the settlement? I have yet to see what’s going to the players directly? It’s called class action for a reason.

    Somehow those who agreed to the settlement split from the class and decided that they should be able to settle on an agreement for the entire class. I haven’t been asked to vote for a President, Vice President, etc… So as usual the answer lies in that old saying… “Follow the money trail and you’ll find the answer!”

    Lionel James
    San Diego Chargers
    1984 – 1988

  7. Tony Davis
    April 11th, 2013 at 4:48 am #

    Tony Davis

    My Teammate and Friend Ron Pritchard made this statement:

    “The problem as I see it is that we as ex-players are too lazy to fight back as a team and let our voices be heard.”

    Apathy – Gene Upshaw saw it and used it against us. I wonder if there are any issues, if there is any cause that would rally a great majority of NFL Retired Players into one tent…

    Tony Davis
    Cincinnati Bengals & Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    1976 – 1982

  8. Bob Babich
    April 11th, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    Bob Babich

    Terrible deal! We need to continue fighting this until we can get a deal that will benefit all of us and not the NFL. This agreement is smoke-and-mirrors and when read by the public, it seems they are going out of their way to help us retired players. If they really want to help, give us all lifetime paid-up health insurance.

    Bob Babich
    San Diego Chargers & Cleveland Browns
    1969 – 1978

  9. Doug Beaudoin
    April 11th, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    Doug Beaudoin

    I don’t think we’re lazy. But I do think we’re fragmented and maybe apathetic which in its simplest terms is… spiritless. They have beaten the spirit out of us.

    I’ve been waiting over 2 years for a Workmans Comp case which they now threaten to eliminate completely through Bill AB1309. Every million the NFLPA sends to Harvard for more brain research or the NFL sends to the “Greater Good” Fund is money that should go to our healthcare or pensions. We already know concussions cause brain trauma. Brain Trauma causes early Alzheimer’s, dementia and the other maladies we suffer.

    The NFL needs to stop spinning this PR crap. But in reality, it seems as if we’re just spinning our wheels.

    Doug Beaudoin
    NFL: New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers
    1976 – 1982
    USFL: Tampa Bay Bandits
    1983 – 1986

  10. Leo Derosia
    April 14th, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    I love football but after seeing what it does to your body, it is insanity to play it. Good luck to all the warriors from decades past but we all know the deck is stacked. Doug Beaudoin played on ’76 Patriots who were our best pre-Brady team and should have won Super Bowl that year. Anyway, you guys gave it all you had and deserve better. I would think $50k a year and healthcare for life would not bankrupt King Football and the mighty NFL and NFLPA.

    BTW – Leon Gray died at age 51 and I’d bet football shortened his life. Leon and John Hannah were two of best left sides in NFL history. RIP Leon Gray. You were best LT we ever had!

    Leo Derosia
    New Hampshire
    Patriots Fan

  11. Ken Burrow
    April 15th, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    Ken Burrow

    I agree with what you all are saying but if the MEN who started this lawsuit (our team captains) are not happy with what has been presented, then I’m not happy either.

    There always tend to be a bigger agenda flowing out of the backroom conversations with these lawyers that – in my estimation – get way off track and we always get **** because of it.

    Dryer and the boys aren’t happy then I’m not happy ..THEY KNOW!!!!!

    Ken Burrow
    Atlanta Falcons
    1971 – 1975