Tag:George Martin
Posted on: June 13, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 8:34 pm

Upshaw still causes rift between Alumni, NFLPA

Jerry Kramer blames late NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw for many of the problems today (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

As the NFLPA and the NFL Alumni continue to bicker with each other – Alumni president George Martin said he STILL hasn’t sat down with trade association executive director DeMaurice Smith to discuss his group’s concerns – legendary Packers OL Jerry Kramer gave a clue to the possible reason both groups don’t get along.

And he blames late executive director Gene Upshaw for the problem.

“The problem is we are not on the same page,” Kramer, who made five All-Pro teams during his 11-year career, told Packer Chatters. “The alumni and the players need to have one voice and to be part of one organization, so you could focus on your objectives. The problem with that is that Gene Upshaw screwed the older players for so long, and so badly, that the guys can’t get over it. There is still a lot of bad taste in our mouths from the Upshaw days. DeMaurice Smith is looked at with a jaundiced eye and we look at him with a show me attitude. A lot of guys are still sitting on the fence and waiting to see what happens.”

The NFL, on the other hand, has been more helpful, Kramer says.

“The NFL is playing their games too, and muddying the water by helping the alumni,” he said. “The NFL has loaned the alumni association money, for instance. Roger Goodell has really been doing a hell of a job up to this point, but I’m not sure how much further it will go. Goodell has made the 88 fund available, which is a dementia fund. He has also helped with the Mackey fund, in which players that take early retirement would be eligible for disability, which they weren’t before. Goodell has really made some strides for the older players. It really comes down to this new collective bargaining agreement and if they can do something to improve the pension situation. Most older players are getting less than $500 dollars a month for their pension. That includes 180 Hall of Famers, I believe.”

Look, we know Smith is extremely busy, but Martin has claimed that he’s not even responding to requests to sit down and chat. And yes, Smith works for the current players and not for the old-timers. But somebody inside the NFLPA -- a player, an administrator, anybody -- needs to know that one day in the future, today’s players are going to be the old-timers suffering from dementia and hobbled by injuries.

To ignore the NFL Alumni is not only inhumane. It’s short-sighted and stupid.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: March 26, 2011 2:02 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2011 2:56 pm

NFL Alumni not happy with NFLPA

Posted by Andy Benoit

One of the ancillary issues in the ongoing labor strife is the treatment of retired players. The popular thing for both sides to say is that they’re deeply concerned about retired players’ benefits. Most retired players beg to differ.

George Martin, president of the NFL Alumni, has met with both the NFLPA and NFL owners. A few weeks ago, it was a story that Martin was unable to even get a meeting with the NFLPA. That has since changed.
G. Martin (US Presswire)
But Martin has still not received the one-on-one meeting with DeMaurice Smith that he requested. And from his last meeting he’s not exactly thrilled with the NFLPA’s attitude towards NFL Alumni.

Pro Football Talk obtained a memo that Martin sent to the NFL Alumni’s Board of Directors and 32 chapter heads in which Martin describes his meeting with the decertified union. PFT writes:

Martin said the “atmosphere was very defiant, accusatory, and outright disrespectful.”

“Regrettably, the long awaited and greatly anticipated one on one meeting with Mr. DeMaurice Smith never materialized as I had hoped,” Martin wrote.  “Although he was present during my two hour interrogation, no accommodation of my request for the private meeting was ever addressed.”

Martin had a much better experience with the NFL, according to the memo.

“On Tuesday morning, I had the pleasure of addressing NFL owners, executive staff, and head coaches as the NFL Annual Meetings,” Martin said.  “The genuine support and enthusiasm for our organization exhibited by these distinguished individuals was both exciting and overwhelming.”

NFL Labor

In its last CBA offer to the union before the lockout, NFL owners offered to contributed $82 million over the next two years to a new legacy fund for retired players. The NFL claims it has contributed over $350 million in pension funds for retired players over the past two years. There are still issues over the timing of these benefits (and, of course, the extent of them). Regarding the timing, players’ coverage currently covers the years immediately following their career, rather than decades down the road, when most of their health issues that were fomented by playing the violent sport actually show up.

The NFL Alumni is upset that the union refused to continue negotiating with owners in the first place.

"Although (the $82 million sum) is not where we want it to be, it was a first start," Martin said at the league meetings earlier this week. "If the (negotiating) process had been allowed to continue, perhaps we would have gained those improvements in pension benefits."

UPDATE 2:57 p.m. EST: George Atallah, NFLPA spokesman, tweeted Saturday afternoon: "It is upsetting that George Martin would make the details of his meeting with the NFLPA public. We tried to have a private dialogue."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 7, 2010 9:08 pm

Goodell assures NFL alumni it'll all be OK

George Martin has received assurances from Roger Goodell that the NFL alumni would continue to be taken care of if there is a lockout (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With all the offseason talk about the looming expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the possibility (probability) of a lockout – thank the heavens we can stop talking about that for a while, by the way – it begs this question: what happens to all the retired NFL players?

What happens to their benefits and their money and their medicine? Does that go poof as well when the CBA expires?

According to George Martin, executive director and president of the NFL Alumni Association, commissioner Roger Goodell assured him nothing would change in the event of a lockout.

Martin, writing a letter to the NFL alumni, said that Goodell assured him of the following: 1) no matter the status of the CBA, all NFL clubs would continue making their required contributions to the pension plans and would continue to pay all pension benefits; 2) all teams would continue to fund the disability plans and would continue to process new applications; 3) retired players would continue to receive post-career medical benefits as laid out in the CBA, even if the CBA has expired; 4) the clubs would continue to support the Player Care Foundation for those in need of assisted living and help with their medical problems.

That’s all well and good. But Martin said he isn’t done trying to get more benefits for those who used to play in the NFL.

“It is not enough simply to preserve the benefits we have today,” he wrote. “All of us know that there are many retired players who need additional help, and that many retired players have pension and other benefits below where they should be.  I intend to devote myself to pressing both sides in the negotiations to make the needs of retired players a high priority, and to ensure that those who built the game will share in its future prosperity.”

To read the full text of the letter, click here.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com