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: . Dear Jeff, . 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: .
“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.” . 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. .continue reading »
Posted with the express consent of Irv Muchnick: .
NFL Players Boss DeMaurice Smith, Eric Holder’s Pal, Major Bad Guy in National Concussion Saga
by Irvin Muchnick, 2011-08-12 . And now for a heartwarming anecdote from last weekend’s Pro Football Hall of Fame festivities that you probably didn’t know: The executive director of the National Football League Players Association, DeMaurice Smith, crashed the dinner in Canton, Ohio, which is traditionally reserved for Hall of Famers and new inductees, and started to speak. According to NFL legend Joe DeLamielleure, blogging for Dave Pear’s Independent Football Veterans, around a dozen guys walked out in the middle of Smith’s remarks. . The NFLPA chief “had no idea that this audience consisted mostly of pre-1993 players,” said DeLamielleure, who estimated that the Hall of Famers in attendance included around 40 guys who receive monthly pension checks of exactly $176 from the $9-billion-a-year NFL. Confronted by the retirees, Smith said the “legacy fund” negotiated in the new collective bargaining agreement would increase them to between $1,000 and $1,500 a month. . continue reading »