EDITOR’S NOTE:

YOU MUST OPT OUT NOW!

It started with a message from Joe DeLamielleure and then Fred Dryer, Ed White and Elvin Bethea joined him to let everyone how important it is to Opt Out of the NFL Films Settlement offer now. Friday is the final deadline for getting your Opt Out paperwork in so we strongly suggest everyone should get this done by Thursday whether you do it yourself or use an attorney if you haven’t done so already. We’ve added a countdown clock to the upper right sidebar of our Blog page so you can see how little time you have left. To OPT OUT of the NFL Films Settlement Offer, please refer to the 12-page overview that was originally sent to members of the Class (click HERE to read the document and your options).
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“In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

– George Orwell

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DecisionsAt the request of pre-1993 former NFL players, I have decided to write an opinion regarding certain matters pertaining to the settlement offer proposed in the pending lawsuit dealing with NFL Films. Based on the information provided through Dave Pear’s Blog, I have drafted the following opinion.
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There has been a recent Settlement offer by the NFL in litigation regarding NFL Films. The terms of the offer are supposed to satisfy a class of retired players who have exerted their right to take legal action on the issue of the infringement of their names, likenesses and images. The six original named plaintiffs have rejected the settlement offer. The class of plaintiffs they represented, however, has yet to decide whether the terms of the agreement are understandable and justifiable and whether there are any hidden, unacceptable implications lurking in the language of the agreement.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Our friend, Spencer Kopf, called in and was miffed to read an e-mail from Jeff Nixon that described the NFLPA’s great historical contributions to advancing the livelihood of its players. The story was just that: A story. The real history and events during the negotiations of the 1982 strike were well-documented and supported by many of the players who were actually there when it all went down. Here’s Spencer’s letter:
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Fantasy FootballDear Jeff,
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I have been asked by the undersigned former players to address your most recent communication to the NFL Alumni. In your March 2, 2013 post, you wrote:
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In 1982, our NFL Players Association demanded, among other things, that its members receive 55% of the league’s gross revenues. The owners told us to take a hike. So we did, and we didn’t return until seven regular-season games had been lost. The owners were forced to return $50 million to the networks. Although we were not successful in getting 55% of League revenues, we did accomplish some things that are still having a lasting impact on current players.
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If by “we” you mean the NFLPA itself, you could not be wider off the mark. The players of the past certainly deserve credit for accomplishments that have benefited players of the present. However, by juxtaposing “our NFL Players Association” with “we” you have created (perhaps unintentionally) a false sense of equivalence. If the history of the NFLPA has anything to teach us, it’s that the NFLPA has never acted as if it and its past constituents were one and the same.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: We received this first-hand report from retired player, Bob Lurtsema, who was one of the “uninvited players” who showed up last week along with Bob Stein and many of the Plaintiffs in the NFL Films lawsuit Status Conference. Each and every retired player needs to read Bob’s words of caution closely and send in their comments.
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Fellow retired players -
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I attended the court-ordered Status Conference in the Dryer v. NFL case on November 27 in Minneapolis to see what was up. What I saw was an attempted sell-out and ambush by the NFL and Michael Hausfeld to force Bob Stein and the original Plaintiffs to accept the NFL’s offer. The NFL and Hausfeld tried to pit players against players.
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Hausfeld brought along 10 or so non-Plaintiff retired players to support him. They were part of a secret group he organized to try to control the Dryer lawsuit payments. We discovered that one guy they brought in had never even been an NFL player! He paid for their travel but refused to pay for the original Plaintiffs’ travel as required by his retainer agreements with them.
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The original Plaintiffs who started the case were not even allowed in Hausfeld’s player meeting. When all the plaintiff attorneys met with all the players there, I was surprised the Magistrate openly pushed for the NFL deal (a very low offer of $50 million total), cut off Bob Stein who pointed out major shortcomings to the deal and then let Hausfeld ramble on to try and sell it. Right after that meeting, Hausfeld rushed out to confer with the NFL lawyers.
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The NFL-Hausfeld proposal, opposed by all original Plaintiffs (Fred Dryer, Jim Marshall, Joe Senser, Dan Pastorini, Elvin Bethea, Ed White) and Bob Stein, stunk to me. Under the NFL-Hausfeld proposal, NO player would be paid for using his rights …ever! Each retired player would give up all his NFL-related publicity rights forever and any money would only go to the neediest of player charity programs. The only ones getting paid are the lawyers!
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The proposal didn’t even have a guaranteed payment amount since all costs of opt-out player lawsuits against the NFL will be paid out of the settlement money! A very small group of players (Hausfeld’s?) would also be put in control of where the money goes. All of us would have to release our publicity rights (pictures, film of play, autographs) forever – and except for possible charity payments – will get paid nothing in the future. The Licensing Agency it set up looks just like the NFL Alumni Program – which LOST $5 million. So I don’t see what we’re getting for giving up claims to what Stein described as “the multi-billion dollar NFL Films vault” and over $150 million/year the NFL makes from using us in NFL Films.
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The NFL-Hausfeld proposal will pay $42 million (after $8 million in legal fees are paid) over 12 years, with all of it going only to charity programs. That amounts to under $15/month for each of the 20,000+ players whose rights would also be signed away. Of course, the lawyers would get paid $8 million up front immediately. Looks to me like each of us will gain absolutely nothing from the NFL-Hausfeld settlement and only the NFL and the lawyers win. No wonder Bob Stein and all the original Plaintiffs think it’s an inadequate deal. After all, over those 12 years when the NFL would be paying out about $3.5 million a year, they would make over $1.8 billion using us in NFL Films! After that, they would then pay nothing more and use our rights forever!
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Bob Stein and the original Plaintiffs all want a deal where every player who gives up his rights forever knows in advance what he would personally get for it, either in dollars or health care benefits …and that it should be enough to mean something.
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I didn’t know why other players besides the Plaintiffs were there but it seemed they were trying to set up the illusion of a “support vote” from guys who were not even Plaintiffs, all without opening the meeting to ALL retired players, just to pressure the original Plaintiffs to go along. Other retired players did not even know about this Status Conference and I only heard about it at the last minute. Hausfeld’s guys were mostly for the deal but ALL the original Plaintiffs and Stein opposed it. I still don’t see the point of the Status Conference but I do see the NFL-Hausfeld deal as bogus and completely one-sided.
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I am against accepting it and wanted all of you to know why. But it should be your own call to make.
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Bob Lurtsema
Baltimore Colts, New York Giants
Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks
1967 – 1977
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Hall of Famer Harry Carson stirred things up in a recent interview with CBS, telling them, “Regret? I’m not going to say regret. But if I had to do it all over again, I would not have played.”
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NFL Hall Of Famer Harry Carson Says He Never Would’ve Played Football Had He Known Effects Of Concussions

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EDITOR’S NOTE: We received this comment along with the attached e-mails from Hall of Famer Elvin Bethea (Houston Oilers 1968 – 1983) requesting that we post this on Dave’s Blog. While we do not wish to take one side or another, after much discussion with several other players, we felt it was best to simply post the communications in their entirety in the interest of transparency.
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Many attorneys want to represent us right now. The question is… who can we trust? I want other players to know that my name has been misused without my permission. Attached are two recent e-mails I had sent to attorney Michael Hausfeld. About ten (10) days after I sent the second e-mail, I finally received a call from Michael Hausfeld. He did not apologize and he did not agree to the retraction that I had requested in my e-mails to him.
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In the conversation with Michael Hausfeld, he also told me that Fred Dryer was joining a board that he was currently organizing. I called Fred to ask if this was true; Fred said that he had no knowledge of the Board or a Committee and that he had not even spoken with Hausfeld about it.
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I did not know where else to turn for advice on what I can do to have my name removed from that letter to the AFL/CIO. So I contacted my friends at Dave Pear’s Blog to see if they would kindly post my unanswered requests.
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All this to say again …Who can we trust?
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Elvin Bethea
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Houston Oilers
1968 – 1983
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