- Man arrested in car bomb plot at Kansas airport
- Prison inmates take up ‘Knockout’ game, target female officers
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- John Kerry: Israel-Palestinian peace deal paved for April
- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
Retired NFL players still seeking better benefits
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The group of NFL retirees that was a part of the labor talks during the lockout last year has not given up their push for better post-career care.
The money they helped gain for their fellow former players was less than what they believe they were promised, and they’re eager to argue their case in court.
“I’m going to fight `em to the end,” said Hall of Fame guard Joe DeLamielleure, one of 47 ex-players who signed on as plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in federal court against the NFL Players Association. They’ve alleged the current players illegally overreached by determining the retiree share of the $10-billion-a-year business without them.
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson will hear oral arguments Wednesday in St. Paul, Minn., from both sides. The union has motioned to have the case dismissed. Spokesman Carl Francis said the NFLPA won’t comment on the lawsuit. The union’s response to the complaint was filed under seal.
Michael Hausfeld, the lead attorney for the retired player group led by former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Carl Eller, insisted his clients aren’t trying to make a money grab. Eller said they’ve estimated between $300 and $500 million in additional benefits they were promised in the early stages of CBA talks and didn’t get.
Their contention is they were pushed out of negotiations to streamline the mediation process despite a court order for their inclusion. Those talks last summer led to a new collective bargaining agreement for the owners and players and saved the 2011 season.
“The retirees don’t begrudge the present players any income they merit, but at the same time they don’t feel it was appropriate for the current players to essentially shortchange the retirees,” Hausfeld said.
The NFL’s new “Legacy Fund” is an additional $620 million carved into the new CBA to go toward pension increases. Current payments to retirees or beneficiaries were bumped up to at least $600 per month. Players over 55 already receiving pensions were given a benefit credit, an extra $124 per season for those accrued prior to 1975 and an additional $108 per season for those played between 1975 and 1992.
Hausfeld’s firm also filed a concussion-related lawsuit on behalf of more than 100 former players last month against the NFL in Philadelphia federal court, alleging negligence and minimization by the league toward head-injury risk in the game. Commissioner Roger Goodell said during Super Bowl week the NFL “will not quit” helping “retired players, the current players and future players by making the game safer.”
There is a palpable bitterness that has existed toward modern players from the retirees that has existed for decades.
Lawyers for the retired players referred in the complaint to a 2010 quote from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees that described some of the retirees as coming to the current players and asking them to “please make up for my bad judgment.” Brees cited divorces, bad business decisions and an unwillingness to work after football as reasons for financial struggles of some of the former players.
Eller acknowledged that perception his group has tried to overcome among the current players.
“A lot of us did make bad decisions. We had our chance. We had our day at the park. I know that I certainly made bad decisions, but the point is that players today are still making bad decisions. And they’re making millions of dollars. So what I’m saying is let’s work together to minimize those decisions,” Eller said.
DeLamielleure was less diplomatic.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- Obama birther theories float as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Dr. Ben Carson disavows efforts at presidential draft
- STEVENS: Resisting the seduction of housing speculation
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topics will include politics, religion, race, culture, and anything else that needs to be discussed...
Our Choice: Individual responsibility and self-government or the abandonment of the American Revolution
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
John Glaser turns his pen toward foreign policy and international relations around the world
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow