Posted with the express consent of Evan Weiner: THE BUSINESS AND POLITICS OF SPORTS .
NFL and NFLPA’s labor woes may not be over yet
Tuesday, 02 August 2011 BY EVAN WEINER NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM .
The National Football League owners have a labor agreement with the present members of the reconstituted National Football League Players Association but it appears that the league still has problems with the players association’s stance on not helping out former players with their medical needs years after their last game in the league. The league apparently informed Carl Eller’s legal team on Friday that the-then decertified National Football League Players Association decided not to take a $500 million offer over ten-years to get retirees life football medical benefits and an uptick in pensions as part of the recently completed collective bargaining agreement. . continue reading »
Posted with the express consent of Evan Weiner: THE BUSINESS AND POLITICS OF SPORTS .
NFL lockout 2011: Why are Gov. Christie and other politicians strangely silent?
Thursday, 21 April 2011 BY EVAN WEINER NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM . The National Football League Draft is on the horizon and there has been a deafening silence from a group of people who actually have some power to exert some influence on what appears to be stagnating talks between the owners, who have locked out their employees — the players — and the players’ representatives. .
People like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who has no problem yelling at his employers in public settings — New Jersey voters — has gone mute on the issue. Christie is no better than Texas Congressman Lamar Smith who doesn’t think Congress ought to be involved in the dispute or President Barack Obama. Christie is in a governor’s league that includes both Democrats (Andrew Cuomo of New York, Jerry Brown of California, Mark Dayton of Minnesota among others) and Republicans (Rick Scott of Florida, John Kasich of Ohio, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Snyder of Michigan, Rick Perry of Texas, Jan Brewer of Arizona, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana) who should be out there jawboning NFL owners to get a deal done with the players.
All the governors are cutting costs so you figure the potential of losing money because there will be no business conducted because of the lockout would stoke their combative fires. .
But it hasn’t. .continue reading »
While The NFLPA is continuing to implement cuts to overhead and expenses, as well as advising its active players to start saving as much money as they can, the NFL is apparently cutting any and all outlays that don’t put money in their pocket.
Earlier this year, Disability Attorney John Hogan filed appeals to the Retirement Board of the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Players Retirement Plan on behalf of Dave. Late last week, Dave received a response and it was no surprise that he was once again denied his request to have his Inactive Total & Permanent Disability reclassified to Football Degenerative. It was a perfect example of how an application and appeal process shouldn’t work.
Let’s start first with a re-cap on the major issues: The Plan clearly breached its fiduciary duty in 1995 by not getting input from a vocational specialist (such as Earl Thompson). If they had, Dave’s case likely would have been granted. It’s a violation of the fiduciary duty of care NOT to adjudicate disability claims like others similarly situated would do. Every other disability system typically considers vocational factors. They should have obtained more detailed information from the doctor himself such as how frequent and how long the rest breaks needed to be, the need to lie down, and how many total hours per day.
Well, here it is: John Hogan’s proposed NFLPA Disability Plan that he would have liked to have presented to Commissioner Goodell and all of the players present at the Oct. 8th Dallas meeting (click HERE to read about what happened). (And John Hogan’s website is HERE).
Disability Attorney John Hogan asked us to post a reminder that the deadline for all applications to be re-considered for NFLPA Disability Benefits is coming up fast: July 31, 2008. A lot of guys have been slowly getting their paperwork in and while it may seem like a long shot, it’s worth the effort for as many of us as possible to get those applications in by the deadline. John’s been burning the midnight oil with the new workload but he’s keeping up with the pace.
This is a little strange. No sooner than we’d posted up that cute comment about Slander on Thursday afternoon, this 2-page Overnight Letter from Larry Lamade at Akin Gump arrives at my door early on Saturday morning.
There’s quite a bit of detail about my specific application to re-apply and – hopefully this time – get qualified for my Disability benefits. We had my now officially-retained attorney, John Hogan, review it and we made a decision to post it up as a way of helping some of the other players out there who have been just as confused about all these new changes and proposals. (I’m not sure if anyone out there actually knows everything about what’s going on.)
Please review this report (below) from John Hogan, who has been a disability attorney for over 25 years. I will quote Mr. Hogan, “I have seen many of Dave’s medical records and it is absolutely clear to me that he was wrongly denied his claim for disability in 1995.”
Thank you for taking the time to read my last letter. I, and a lot of other old time players are so happy to hear that you are planning on looking into this NFL/NFLPA travesty. We strongly suspect that Gene Upshaw is going to be sacrificed and sent riding off into the sunset with enough money in his pocket to buy a small country soon but the damage and neglect done Retired Players will still be there. Gene has been the public face of the powerful people who have hijacked our Union and left our ailing players to survive as best they can with the injuries that presently make life a horror for many of them.
Our U.S. Congress has allowed the NFL to build itself into one of the wealthiest and most powerful sports business empires in the history of civilization. In collusion with Upshaw, the NFL and the NFLPA have constructed one of the most blatant “conflict of interest” relationships in our nation’s business history. I personally believe that “jail time” might come out of your investigation for some of the parties involved if you dig deep enough.
1) 2007: Here is what Social Security was billed in just 3 days one year ago: over $90,000 for my injuries suffered while in the NFL. Add on top of that $15,000 for my prescriptions last year that I paid. and another $20,000 billed to Social Security for weekly and bi-weekly physical therapy, expensive CT scans and x-rays, doctor appointments, etc.
I sent this to Mr. Lawrence Lamade at the law firm of Akin Gump, who has represented the League for over 30 years and was directed by the Commissioner’s office to assist me in providing information from my union (the NFLPA) because I have been unsuccessful in obtaining my benefits. To date, Mr. Lamade has also been unsuccessful in obtaining this information for me. If you look over the attached documents, you’ll see that in 1981 and in 1984, my injuries were well-documented by reputable doctors and clinics (my surgeon was no less than the Dean of Neurosurgery at the Stanford Medical Center) and clearly football-related. Additionally, the Social Security Administration has already recognized and acknowledged my work-related injury with their documentation and I’ve been receiving Social Security Disability since July 2004. Although the NFLPA disqualified me for disability in the 80′s, when I finally submitted my application to Social Security in 2003, they completed their review quickly and with certainty that my injuries were work-related and therefore qualified for SS disability. And the letter from the NFL’s own neutral doctor in 1995 acknowledged the extent of my deteriorating condition and permanent disability as a substantial disablement, as well as the limitations to my mobility and activities.
Two questions come to mind: 1) Was the NFL & the NFLPA clearly incorrect in their arbitrary decisions to deny my claims in 1983 and 1995 and 2) Should my compensation be retroactive if decided in my favor now that I’m re-presenting my documentation with an irrefutable ruling from the Social Security Administration (and the Court of Public Opinion)?
We just received a letter from Fredia Jackson, a close friend of Dwight Harrison. As most of you know, Dwight played in the NFL for 12 years with the Denver Broncos, the Buffalo Bills, the Baltimore Colts and the Oakland Raiders during the old glory days when OJ Simpson was a rising star. Dwight was in the news video with Mike Ditka.