A Closer Look at the NFL and Brain Damage – Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
By Dave Washington
New Orleans, LA – On a recent trip through the many Blog sites which abound throughout cyber space, I have come across some really interesting titles with gut wrenching script. No these are not Spielberg’s epics, or Tyler Perry’s satire, these are simply ex-jocks, wives, and widows and yes even children of these refugee husbands and fathers of many battles on the NFL gridiron. Where on Sundays, these great men some of grand stature with names like Bronco, Cannon Ball, Too Tall, and yet others whose name carried a special significance, like, Sweetness, Air, or just simply Joe Willie. These blog sites tell of a League seemingly unapologetic of the damage caused by the callousness of sacrificing people for profit, compassion for capital and principles for protection, of the men who built the business.
Now, to acerbate matters these widows of the fallen Titans, were castigated individually and collectively by Big Bad Wolf during the Legacy Fund negotiations. Yes excluded from the pension benefits of their husbands. The reason given; the spouse died in the year of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) therefore is excluded from the benefits. Thank God, His will prevailed and the ladies have been included with at least a meager subsistence for their travail, in caring for these Dementia, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer, arthritic, aged bodies during the years of their decline.
The Beat Continues – Same Song Different Verse
Now with a court ordered $765,000,000.00 negotiated settlement on the table awaiting reification by the courts, it appears the beat goes on, as Big Bad Wolf continues to want to withhold payments to the pre 1993 player cadre. The number of players remaining in this group with at least five (5) years vesting in the NFL is rumored to be less than 250 players.
A Simple Solution
Offer each pre 1993 player a one million dollar ($1,000,000.00) settlement with automatic inclusion in the 88 Mackey Plan at age 65. For the remaining widows that were included in the legacy fund they would be included in the 88 Mackey Plan as well at, age 65 with a greater than 50% plan benefit.
Big Bad Wolf has made valiant strides to preserve and protect players today, now it’s time to preserve and protect the players and waives who laid the foundation for the most profitable sport on the planet. It’s time to simply “Do the Right Thing”
Dave Washington, Jr., played linebacker in the NFL for 11 years. He is also Sports Editor for a local Mississippi weekly Newspaper, contributing writer for National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and columnist for several on-line News/Sports media. www.davewashington.com