Herb Adderley, John Mackey, Mike Webster, Andre Waters. And the carnage goes on and on and on. . Unless and until the 21st Century NFL undergoes a sea change – a total paradigm shift toward actually caring for their beloved 20th Century warriors – I have no interest in being associated with the NFL in any way, including the erstwhile noble idea of its Hall of Fame . I am, however, keenly interested in contributing to bring into the American public’s consciousness the unbelievably shameful travesty known as the “NFL Retired Players Pension. . I want to bring lasting attention to the deplorable and deliberate manner in which the NFL owners have set up a “maze” of red tape designed to prevent the hundreds – if not thousands – of living former NFL warriors from “having a life after football. .continue reading »
Over the past four and a half decades I have witnessed many, many, many, many acts of injustice, chicanery and dishonesty. Some of these acts occurred on the fields and arenas in sport (as a player, teammate and coach), some in the halls of justice, some in the media and press and others in the avenues of everyday life. But never in all my years of experience and knowledge as an athlete, coach, prosecutor, judge, attorney, teacher, professor, journalist, author and rights advocate, have I ever witnessed such open acts of deliberate manipulations of the truth, excessive greed, conscious indifference, breach of trust, conflicts of interest and cowardice as I have in observing the conduct of Gene Upshaw and DeMaurice Smith and their cronies. .continue reading »
As retired football players, we’re all sick and tired of everyone trying to tell us what’s best while not giving us a voice or a vote in how it’s done. With the CBA close to being finalized, the so-called Union, the NFLPA, is once again trying to walk away with our retirement and disability benefits as an afterthought to what they’ve negotiated for their active players. And with the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies coming up, a large group of Hall of Famers have signed a Retired Football Players Declaration of Independence (click on any images below to enlarge for easier reading and printing): . . We’re asking all retired players to read and sign on as well – I have already (PLEASE pass this along to all the other players you know): . .
And if you know retired players who don’t have Internet access or e-mail, you can also download a copy of the Declaration by right-clicking HERE and saving the PDF version that you can then print out and distribute to fax in or send by snail-mail. Thanks for all your support! .
Over the past 24 hours, we’ve certainly had a lot of discussions around the old adage “Not seeing the forest for the trees.” In the old way of controlling their spin on all stories about football, the NFL managed to keep all of the television networks and most of the major print media on very short leashes because of their broadcast rights and access to players and managers for interviews. And then the Internet came along. Despite claims of a few who proudly proclaim they invented the Internet and Facebook, this new medium has not only moved the retired football players battle to a new and level playing field; it’s in a different league altogether. Just as the past two weeks have completely caught Tiger Woods and his team of old-school PR flacks like deer in the headlights, the NFLPA and the NFL and their old media machines have been hard-pressed to catch up with a new medium that they can no longer control. The Internet doesn’t belong to anyone and it belongs to everyone.
This is the 4-page final settlement agreement that was signed by Judge William Alsup in San Francisco on Nov. 23, 2009.
(The crew over at DocStoc have added some great new features: Click on the FULL SCREEN button to enlarge it for easier navigation – hit the ESC key to close. You can also click the DOWNLOAD button to save a PDF copy for printing and reading. There’s also a Menu button in the upper left corner with even more options.) .
… And here’s the 12-page Summary from Judge Alsup covering Attorneys’ Fees, costs and compensation for the class representative. Everything Bernie Parrish has pointed out is covered in this document …and more. (Ouch!)
On November 23, 2009, in San Francisco, California, Federal District Court Judge William Alsup rendered a blistering set of three orders approving the settlement agreement in Parrish & Adderley vs. NFLPA Players Inc. However, in rendering the orders, Judge Alsup said of the award of attorneys’ fees, “When combined with the expense reimbursement below, counsel is receiving approximately 25 percent of the value of the settlement. This figure adequately compensates counsel for the work performed in this action. A reasonable fee in light of the ultimate recovery obtained for the class, and is reasonable in light of the missed opportunity for an even higher recovery.”
New Preliminary Order Approving Settlement Proposal
Two heads are better than one and more players’ eyes reading this preliminary order are better than just a few lawyers. We’re hoping that the new order just filed on Tuesday will eliminate some of the one-sided language of the earlier proposed settlement draft (among other things, the original proposed settlement had language inserted to quash any future litigation by recipients of the settlement! Click HERE to view all of those documents in an earlier post). Also note the proposed time line for sending in comments and objections as well as the new payout schedule on Page 4. Things are now pushed out to November.
We’re just simply going to post an order from Judge Alsup that was sent out on Aug. 7, 2009 and the answer from Bernie Parrish filed after that. Bernie informs us that in no way is he trying to hold up or stop the settlement from getting into the hands of the retired players. His concerns have been with some of the terms in the settlement agreement and the way in which it was written and proposed. We’ve never quite understood why documents coming out of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP kept omitting Bernie Parrish’s name from all court filings and orders when Bernie was clearly always the original lead plaintiff (even as Kessler & Co. continued to do so right through the proposed settlement documents). (Click on each page to enlarge for easier reading.)
After what seems like an eternity, Manett Phelps & Phillips and McKool Smith filed Motions in the Parrish, Adderley, Roberts vs. the NFLPA/Players Inc. class action lawsuit late last week for final review and court approval on August 20, 2009 by Judge Alsup. The documents just became available online so we’ve loaded them up on DocStoc once again for easier viewing and searching. The main part of the Motion outlines the basics of the case and subsequent settlement. The Exhibits outline the payment plan and schedules with the first payment scheduled for July 13, 2009 (they’ll miss that one!) and the second set for June 5, 2010.
It’s always interesting digging into the details: Turns out the settlement will be managed and distributed by Garden City Group which just happens to be right here in Seattle. Half of the funds (around $13 million) were placed into escrow on July 13th, the day this Motion was apparently filed. And then barring no problems, the balance will be placed into escrow on June 5, 2010 for distribution shortly after that. Another interesting detail from Page 7 of Exhibit 1: Players who elected to Opt-Out John Baker, Richard Yelvington, Lynn Chandnois, John Demarie, Dan Goich, Daniel Direnzo, James “Scottie” Graham, Deacon Jones, Steve Largent, Brig Owens, Ben Pucci, Donald Testerman and Andre Collins were all excluded from suit.
We keep getting inquiries and comments on an almost daily basis asking about when the retired players will finally be receiving their Players Inc. settlement money. Since the settlement was first announced with great fanfare in early June at a well-covered press conference that included NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, plaintiffs’ attorney Ron Katz and plaintiff Herb Adderley, few details have been available on how, what, when, where and why. We need a Jerry Maguire to remind the NFLPA/Players Inc. to Show Us the Money!
HBO Real Sports ran its Disunity episode on the retired players GLA trial last night. In under 15 minutes, they managed to present the major highlights of the entire 3-week trial, covering the points and counterpoints between the retired players and the NFLPA/Players Inc. and how the trial was won.
Joe DeLamielleure, Bruce Laird and Herb Adderley on HBO Real Sports
There’s been a lot of discussion on the need for a first meeting for retired players and several groups and individuals have been trying to get that organized. This won’t be a small feat. Logistics, costs and last but not least – egos – will need to be managed and accommodated.
But in the end, few people will deny that any steps forward will be a step in the right direction. Here’s an e-mail that Bob Grant had sent out in late November asking for players to sign up as well as to send their comments. We’ve also posted a simple form at the end of Bob’s request that’s easy to fill in and submit. Your information will not be sold or distributed to anyone else or used for any other purpose. (If you already filled out the form on this earlier postHERE, there’s no need to submit your information again – thanks!).
Now that Judge Alsup handed down his final order on the Class Action lawsuit filed against the NFLPA/Players Inc. by Bernie Parrish, Herb Adderley and Walt Roberts, more details and analysis is starting to show up in sports columns across the country.