It is Disgraceful that the Retired NFL Players Had to Sue

NFL players endure broken bones, scars and foggy memories from their playing days; they better be glad they played for the love of the game because that’s apparently all that is going to be left for them when this process called the Lockout ends.

The retired players filed a class action complaint because they feel like they have been excluded from the mediation sessions. They are asking U.S. district judge Susan Richard Nelson to put a halt to the mediation she ordered and declare that the current players cannot negotiate on behalf of those who are retired. It sounds like these secret meetings have been so secret that they didn’t bother to tell the retired players lawyers where the meetings were.

Both the NFL and the Players Association should be ashamed of the way they have treated the hero’s of the past. I know the players are trying to salvage the best deal they can for themselves before the the league starts to miss games and they lose whatever leverage they have. But what kind of leverage do the retired players have? Apparently not much. The owners are going to give the players only so much of that 9 billion dollar pie. They feel like it’s up to the players to take care of their own. It’s cut and dried for them.

The ex-players don’t seem to trust the current players any further than they can throw them. The retired players say that the current players are “conspiring to depress the amounts of pension and disability benefits to be paid the former players in order to maximize the salaries and benefits to current players”. It sounds like the retired players were hoping for mere crumbs of that huge pie and they had to sue a family member to insure that they at LEAST get something to chew on.

I hope that using the word “hero” doesn’t offend any real heroes who served in the armed forces, but I use that term to describe the players that I saw in my youth give everything they had with class and dignity. Guys that didn’t know what a trust fund was or even had accountants. They were TOLD what their salary was, they had no negotiating powers at all. They still don’t.

Those were the guys I aspired to be like. It’s sad to see them figuratively standing outside the doors leaning on their canes, with their hands out begging to be heard from as their millionaire current day brethren walk past them on their way to the waiting limo.

The owners are supposed to be the caretakers of the game. Does it bother them at all that the guys they used to buddy up with back in the day can’t walk without a cane? What is it about the current day players and their “I got mine so get lost old man” attitude? Maybe they think that their payday is never going to end? Maybe they think that everyone catering to their every need is the way things have always been, and will always stay? That the cheering never stops? Maybe they should ask the retired guys how that worked out.

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