Posted by Josh Katzowitz
It’s no surprise that, during the lockout, the retired players were upset at the NFL and the NFLPA. And to show exactly how angry those retirees were at the perceived lack of recognition that the players gave them and the lack of support paid to them by the league, the retired players, led by Carl Eller, filed a class-action lawsuit against both sides.
Originally, Eller had gone after the NFL, but earlier this month, he turned his attention to the NFLPA as well, alleging that the two sides had conspired to keep benefits low for retired players. Listed among the plaintiffs were a number of Hall of Famers in a show of solidarity.
Now, however, it’s come to light that many of those Hall of Famers are upset at Eller for including their names in a petition which he sent to other retired players to drum up support for the lawsuit.
“First of all, I was surprised that they came out and listed names -- my name in particular -- without me having given permission to even use it,” Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood said, via Pro Player Insider. “I had no idea what this lawsuit was all about in the first place. When I saw my name on this letter that I had not requested to be a part of, it was a shock to me.”
Perhaps part of the reason the retirees aren’t interested in pursuing legislation against the NFL and the NFLPA is because the new CBA includes a number of new benefits for those who are retired and for those current players after they leave the game.
“I just want it known that we’re for anything that’s already been negotiated,” Lenny Moore said. “And I definitely didn’t want my name hooked in with anything that was delaying this process. Now that the process has gone through, that’s where my name is linked because that’s who I am a part of.”
Other retired players felt misled by the assertion that they weren’t represented at the bargaining table to end the lockout and win themselves additional benefits.
“I was presented this like, ‘We need to get back at the [bargaining] table -- that’s what this is for.’ So everybody goes, ‘OK, we need to get back to the table.’ And I didn’t realize we already have somebody at the table,” said Art Shell.
“The problem is, there are so many entities out there that a lot of the guys don’t know who’s who. When a lot of those contracts were negotiated, at the time, that money would have been good. But now, that money ain’t close to being good for today’s world. I thought that the ownership and the players would come up with something good for the retirees. But I tell you what, guys have got to be excited about this (retiree benefits in the new deal).”
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.