The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio


NFL Hall Of Famers Threaten To Boycott Ceremonies If They Don't Receive Salary, Health Insurance

September 18, 2018 - 11:57 am


The Pro Football Hall of Fame inducted its Class of 2018 just over a month ago in Canton, Ohio. League legends, young and old, were in attendance as Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher and other former stars were immortalized among the greats of the game. 

That commemoration might look a bit different next year if a group of Hall of Famers follows through on their threat to boycott the ceremonies. In a letter sent to NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and Pro Football Hall of Fame President C. David Baker, numerous members of the Hall have demanded health insurance and salaries for all the former players who have been enshrined in Canton. If they don't get what they want, they say they won't attend the annual induction ceremonies. 

Arash Markazi of ESPN posted on Twitter the full letter that was sent out by members of the Hall of Fame Board. 

The letter points out that these Hall of Famers "were integral to the creation of the modern NFL, which in 2017 generated $14 billion in revenue." It goes on to claim that many of the players "are struggling with severe health and financial problems."

Hall of Fame Board Chairman Eric Dickerson will "spearhead the board's player organizing efforts." He signed the demands alongside Marcus Allen, Mel Blount, Derrick Brooks, Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, Richard Dent, Carl Ellard, Marshall Faulk, Mike Haynes, Rickey Jackson, Ronnie Lott, Curtis Martin, Joe Namath, John Randle, Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, Jackie Smith, Lawrence Taylor, Kurt Warner and Sarah White, the widow of Reggie White. 

Their argument also points to the fact that MLB players are given health insurance for life after appearing on a major league roster for a single day. Players who are employed on a roster for 43 days receive a lifetime pension. Former NFL players are only entitled to five years of health insurance, and that's only if they have joined into the league's player retirement plan. 

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At the center of much of their reasoning are the other various ways the NFL spends its money. These other expenses include Goodell's $40 million annual salary and a new $1 billion Hall of Fame Village under construction in Canton. 

The former players are only requesting the benefits for those who were good enough to be selected to the Hall of Fame. The letter says nothing about the vast majority of former players not enshrined in Canton.