Monday, January 28, 2013

Letter to the President: NFL Reckoning

From time to time I like to tackle the topics currently being discussed in the media.  I believe this one is clearly solvable and shouldn't take years of litigation.  Although its plainly obvious when millions of dollars are at stake and the pocket books of NFL Owners are at risk of becoming smaller, Judges and Arbitrators must be called in to decide what is right when greed has taken over the minds of Executives & CEOs.

The NFL needs to take a page from the United States Military.  The NFL needs a Program like Veterans have where they can receive insured rehabilitation services and support groups, funded by the NFL.  Ex-Players like Jim McMahon and Leroy Hoard walk around and can't remember where they were 5 minutes ago.  Hoard walks around with a note pad and constantly writes down the names of Dave Duerson, Junior Seau and Andre Waters just so he doesn't kill himself like they did.

I saw the report on the ESPN show Outside the Lines, detailing the lives of ex NFL players and the post trauma they experience every day.  All I could think was the NFL should be ashamed.  They are making Billions of dollars off the backs of these players and they don't have the Morals or Ethics to take care or support the ones they've become so rich off of. 

The Owners are the main culprits in this predicament.  The NFL Players Association and a host of former players are suing the NFL for this exact kind of neglect and misinformation.  The NFL had researched the effects of the repeated head trauma it's players were experiencing.  They knew about the brain damage ex players were living with and yet they did not release any information regarding their findings until recently when Concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy became mainstream terminology.

This Case is going to spend years in the Courts before any resolution is reached.  The NFL and the Players Association should immediately collectively bargain a program that all NFL players and former players get eligibility for.  This is the kind of Self-Evaluation and Self-Reckoning the NFL needs.  They are a flourishing business only due to the sacrifices of their former and current players.  The fact they don't take care of their own is a GLARING OMISSION.  This is why former players like Mike Ditka have gone before Congress to plea with the US Government for leverage.  This is in no way a handout.  It is a Moral & Ethical Obligation....  The Players give their physical and mental faculties.  Now the NFL needs to pay their dues for what they take from these men.

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