Here’s the official NFLPA Press Release on their newly-announced Concussion & TBI Committee. We want to point out that while any movement forward is always a good thing, sometimes you have to look at what’s NOT said as much as what IS said. Read the announcement carefully and you’ll notice that they say they’re concerned about taking care of CURRENT players who are injured and they also want to study the effects to reduce or eliminate brain injuries and concussions.
Last Thursday, I made the trip down to the Amen Clinic in Newport Beach for my scheduled brain scan. Dr. Kristen Willeumier was there to greet me and helped me to understand the entire process involved with my brain scan. They did some tests on mental acuity and Dr. Amen happened to be at his main clinic between road trips for his current book tour and managed to take some time to meet personally with me as well. The entire experience was easy and relaxed and I was back on a plane heading home to Seattle that evening.
For the first time, the NFL and the NFLPA extended an invitation to “The Independent Retired Players” to attend and participate in a meeting called to discuss the problems that continue to plague Retirees. Bob Grant, an Independent Activist and Advocate for our cause, was asked to attend on behalf of the Retired Players.
In January 2009, four Congressmen signed and sent a letter to the Department of Labor about concerns of the integrity of the NFLPA election process. At the behest of his daughter Mary, Congressman Jim Moran looked into the matter.
An incredibly powerful story on football-related brain concussions was recently published in GQ Magazine. The article – titled Brain Game – was written by Jeanne Marie Laskas and covers a lot of ground in how a Pittsburgh pathologist’s research into Mike Webster’s cause of death in 2002 caught the attention of the NFL and its owners to the point where they’re trying once more to bury and/or discredit the studies. If you thought you knew enough about brain injuries, this is one story that will open your eyes and make you mad!
And if this chilling article finally gets to each of you and you haven’t already heard, the Amen Clinic is currently offering free brain scans and followup analysis as part of their new independent study on the impact of brain concussions in the NFL. We need 100 of you guys to sign up so this detailed study can be completed and publicized immediately.
At a time when former players are communicating more than ever and becoming better informed on the various issues involving “us,” I want to urge all players to take advantage of the available resources being offered. Regardless of where you stand on the issues of retired players there is one thing I emphatically know for certain. We all subjected ourselves to hits or blows to the head! Whether it was in practice or in games, we all were subjected to head trauma. Personally, I was diagnosed in 1990 with Post Concussion Syndrome. The date is significant because it was 2 years after I left football and was deemed to be a permanent condition. For almost 20 years now I know what I’ve been dealing with and I have my ways to manage it. Unfortunately, I know so many former players who never thought of the head traumas they sustained as a player but are now having serious neurological issues (depression, mood swings, sensitivity to noise/lights, forgetfulness, etc.) well into the next phase of their lives.
It just finally really sank in that Gene Upshaw’s widow was apparently paid a $14 million lump sum directly out of the NFLPA’s bank account when he passed on to a new life (!). As a businessman, I started wondering why that money was paid directly out of the NFLPA’s coffers and not by an insurance policy that they should have had in place for a key employee like most normal businesses usually have? With any of the businesses I’ve started over the years, my investors typically sleep better knowing that there’s an insurance policy on my life to allow the Company to replace me as CEO in case something happens to me. And I also typically negotiate a separate policy that will provide for my family as part of the package. This happens in businesses across the country every day, regardless of whether they’re privately held or public companies. This is common business practice and I doubt if even Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, would argue with that. continue reading »
I just received the current renewal form for my annual membership in the NFLPA Retired Players. For belonging, most of us retired players actually only receive an annual membership directory and a fancy plastic wallet card claiming how the NFL supports Past – Present – Future (yeah, right!). continue reading »
I was watching the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins game where Peyton Manning surpassed the great Johnny Unitas’ record for all-time franchise wins. Manning later said that he was “Humbled.”
But aside from this minor mention of Johnny Unitas’ long-standing achievement, little is said or acknowledged of the shameful treatment that he endured over his lifetime from his own Union, the NFLPA. Many of the players like Peyton Manning who have followed in Unitas’ big footsteps never truly recognize the sacrifice and abuse that this sports legend put up with while he was alive so that future players could make the big bucks they do today.
I would urge every retired football player to write Judge Alsup whether you are on the (thus far) confirmed Katz/Adderley Kessler/Berthelson list of 2062 or not; there is proof of over 3,000 but it’s up to Judge Alsup to demand it as part of perjured testimony.
Many of you know you signed GLA’s but are not included in Players Inc. records managed by Players Inc. employee, Kelly Skubick, who told interviewers she took care of licensing for “over 3,000” retired players in an article published on Oct 3, 2008. Katz refused to use this information which I supplied to him in time to be used in the trial. Kelly Skubick has very recently left her $50,000+ job at Players Inc., a job she told the interviewer that she loved. I now understand that her computer with the records of over 3,000 retired players who are covered by licensing agreements may have been damaged by the convenient fire in the NFLPA offices shortly after DeMaurice Smith took office replacing Upshaw. Katz has allowed Berthelson and Kessler to continue saying only 2,062 retired players had signed GLA’s when he knew that was not true and that the Players Inc. employee who handled servicing those GLA’s on a daily basis said there are over 3,000. That, Mr. Katz, is perjury on their part as I pointed out to you shortly after I gave you that information which certainly extends any time limit problems you claim to exist.
This issue is important since it reduces the damage award in this case by 33% whatever the true amount of the award should be. That is an increase of $9.3 million raising the incorrect $28.1 million to $37.4 million while 133% of $106.9 million raises the Rowley-calculated damages to over $140 million. Since the NFLPA’s Executive Committee calls $28.1 million “Chump Change,” they need a stronger message – like $140 million from Judge Alsup’s court. continue reading »
We’ve been following the story of a young local junior high school athlete who got hit hard in a football game. 16-year old Zachery Lystedt was sent back in twice after getting what turned out to be a major concussion and he collapsed minutes after the game was finished. As a result of Zach’s injury, Washington State passed one of the strongest pieces of legislation to protect minors from additional injury following severe head trauma.Read our earlier post about Zachery and the new Washington law by clicking HERE.
Here’s why we’re so excited about Dr. Amen’s offer to provide free brain scans which will be included in his upcoming study of football concussions. Many of you guys have already signed up but if you haven’t done so already, click HERE to read that earlier post and sign up right away – this offer is currently limited to the first 100 players to join the study!
Over the years, the NFL has continued to do lip service about all those studies they’re supposed to have been conducting on brain concussions and injuries that most players sustain over their careers. But just like the calls for an open audit of their books, few people seem to have been privy to all of the the studies that they’re supposed to have collected. In the past, we’ve also pointed out that among other “studies”, the NFL apparently also has actuarial numbers on all of the players that were provided by a subsidiary of AON Corp. headquartered in Chicago. Some of the principals in AON Corp. also happened to be owners of the Chicago Bears – read some of those earlier posts by clicking HERE. You’ll be directed to a series of earlier posts on AON’s relationship to the NFL – including this one at the top – just keep scrolling down to the other posts below. Among other things, those actuarial numbers have been used to calculate just how much they hold back from you for your surviving spouse policy on your retirement benefits (And who has actually seen their paperwork for THAT policy? Isn’t all of that called a Conflict of Interest in any other business?).
Here’s your personal invitation from Dr. Kristen Willeumier from the Amen Clinics to arrange an appointment to receive your free brain scan for their new study specifically focused on NFL football players’ concussions. NOTE: This study is completely independent of the NFL and the NFLPA.
Jane Arnett, co-chair of the 2010 Independent Retired Players Summit, spent years as a corporate recruiter. Mary Moran’s exceptionally high salary $240,000-a-year as the Director of Human Resources at he NFLPA piqued her interest. Of course, it probably had nothing to do with being Congressman Jim Moran’s (D – Michigan) daughter.
After years in the executive search business, my immediate impression months ago of Mary Moran’s salary was that it was MUCH more than made sense. Just a quick Google search verified it. And remember… these salary averages are probably companies of several hundred of employees, companies with only a few dozen don’t usually have a dedicated HR manager, so a firm (union?!) of 100 employees would be near the bottom of the scale. When I heard what Mary was making I KNEW there was probably “funny business”. When we heard how Troy Vincent was undermined and how it came about, her salary became a VERY interesting commentary.