By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
If You Wanna Throw a Party…You Gotta Pay The Band, Pt. I
By Michael – Louis Ingram, BASN Associate Editor
PHILADELPHIA (BASN): While the peace between management and labor seems to have come to terms in the National Football League’s lockout, there is still one significant facet not yet accounted for.
The Old School Players – those retired men who turned the NFL into a multi – billion dollar business, are still waiting for their cut; and would like to get it before death denies them what are funds long past due.
Before, during and after said lockout this issue has been a shameful stain on the NFL’s shield; that they trumpet the image of the most popular spectator sport in North America after inflicting a scorched – earth policy on at least two generations worth of gladiators, their families and loved ones.
The corporate timbre of the NFL morphing into IBM has not been lost on these men, whose desire to gain fair compensation has been deterred by insensitivity, acrimony and collusion on the part of many in the so – called mainstream media.
Bob Grant, who played for the Baltimore Colts back in the day has been working with other retired players to gain clarity and currency before time takes all of the players out. “Unfortunately,” says Grant, “this settlement seems to have taken care of immediate needs for those playing now.
“Our problem is unique in that this certified or defunct union really cannot speak for us. To date our situation remains unresolved and I do not believe that we will get much more than a ‘Band-Aid and an Aspirin’ out of the pending settlement between the NFL and the NFLPA.
“A few weeks back we presented the Owners on the NFL- CEC with an informal plan and recommendation that will ABSOLUTELY solve the problems that we are faced with once and for all. We are hoping for a response from them soon after the CBA negotiations have concluded.
“Bernie Parrish is working on the legal actions that will open this door for us if the Owners find the proposal not worthwhile.”
To further emphasize this, Mr. Grant, after an appearance on The Batchelor Pad radio show, revealed he and other Independent Players have had to consider other ways to bring the issue out in the open.
In an exclusive to BlackAthlete.com and The Batchelor Pad, Mr. Grant revealed to us correspondence sent to some of the most powerful people in the league:
Mr. Jerry Jones
1 Cowboys Parkway
Irving, TX 75063-4727
Dear Mr. Jones:
A moment of your time, please? We believe there may be a solution for Pre-1993 Retired NFL Players and the League if we can be open-minded and think “outside the box.” We are asking that you consider the following:
The Bert Bell Pension Fund/Program is in fact two separate programs with two separate levels of benefits for two different groups.These two groups are the pre-1993 retired players and the post-1993 retired players.
We believe it could solve a number of problems if you and the other NFL Owners would support our proposal of a division of the pension program, with pre-1993 retired players becoming Bert Bell 1 and post-1993 retired players becoming Bert Bell 2.
Members of the proposed Bert Bell 1, the pre-1993 retired players, are not employees of the National Football League, and consequently cannot legally be members of the soon to be restored NFLPA Union.
Likewise, according to NLRB spokesman, the NFLPA has no legal right or authority to represent retired players belonging to proposed Bert Bell 1, and with your support and the support of the other NFL Owners, we hope for a situation in which the actual retired player members of the pre-1993 Bert Bell 1 group could themselves select and vote for the Player Trustees that sit with the Owner Trustees.
You would of course continue with Trustees of your choosing in the proposed Bert Bell 1. Many others and I believe that you may be already making Employer contributions sufficient enough to elevate the pension benefits of Bert Bell 1 members far beyond their current level of payouts and nearer MLB’s payout.
Unfortunately, even a Trillion Dollars would not be enough to fix the problems that we are all facing if the money is not directed, managed and administered properly, and we have proven the NFLPA’s untrustworthiness in Bernard Parrish v The NFLPA filed by Mr. Parrish in U.S. District Court as case # 07-0943WHA a short time back.
Contributions that you have made to the Plan much of which was voluntary, seems to have not trickled down to us.
We have the legal right to participate directly in the process via individual vote, and that the NFLPA with its claimed but likely inflated number of paying members is misleading and does not legally represent the men vested in the proposed Bert Bell 1.
If you are willing to hear us out on this proposal, we could possibly avoid asking the Courts to help us with this matter. You are presently, of course, dealing with other serious matters and we wish you success.
All currently vested retired players are literally already members of The Bert Bell Program, and there is no need for the Retired Players involved to continue forming new groups year after year in attempts to have a single group that is accepted by all Retired Vested Players.
The Carl Eller and Franco Harris/Michael Hausfeld, Esq. antitrust actions are, we believe, yet another small Group of opportunists conspiring to become “the group” by using a lawsuit to promote a new alphabet organization.
We believe that with your assistance we can finally have the proposed Bert Bell 1 group stand as a Retired Player Group that truly represents the Retired Players’ best interest, thereby eliminating the politics that have divided the sub-groups for far too long.
We sincerely believe that our business with you and the other NFL Owners should not be linked to your business with and between Active Players and post-1993 retirees. It is our hope that you will soon be open to discuss this further.
NFL Retired Player Advocate/Activist
Producer of The Independent Retired Players Summit
Plaintiff in Lawsuit v the NFLPA in CV11-03118 for Tort Fraud-Filed April 12, 2011. U.S. District Court Los Angeles
Copies of this letter were also sent to the following:
Mr. Pat Bowlen
13655 Broncos Parkway
Englewood, CO 80112
Mr. Mike Brown
Paul Brown Stadium
1 Paul Brown Stadium
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Mr. Clark Hunt
Kansas City Chiefs
1 Arrowhead Drive
Kansas City, MO 64129
Mr. Robert Kraft
New England Patriots
1 Patriot Place
Foxboro, MA 02035-1388
Mr. John Mara
New York Giants
East Rutherford, NJ 07073
Mr. Mark Murphy
Green Bay Packers
1265 Lombardi Avenue
Green Bay, WI 54304
Mr. Art Rooney
3400 S. Water Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203-2349
Mr. Dean Spanos
San Diego Chargers
4020 Murphy Canyon Rd.
San Diego, CA 92123
In our next segment, we will again speak with Bernie Parrish, whose efforts forced the NFL & NFLPA to ante up in a successful lawsuit.
Copyright c2011 Michael – Louis Ingram