NFL, union agree to cover ALS within "88 Plan"

The NFL and the NFL Players Association continue to build momentum toward an eventual labor deal.  In this specific case, they also happen to be doing the right thing.

Confronted with mounting evidence that men who participate in sports involving repeated blows to the head can cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, the league and the union have agreed to include ALS within the program that provides benefits to former players suffering from dementia.

Under the “88 Plan,” named for Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey, players become eligible for benefits without having to prove that football caused the condition.  It provides up to $88,000 for institutional care or up to $50,000 for custodial home care.

Since its adoption in 2006, the “88 Plan” has contributed $9.7 million to the care of 132 former players.

“We are pleased to jointly expand this financial resource that will improve the quality of life for suffering former players and alleviate the financial drain imposed on their families by this terrible disease,” the union and the league said in a joint statement.

Of course, the decision also legitimizes the notion that a lifetime of football can cause a player to develop ALS after retirement.  And that’s all the more reason for the NFL to take decisive action to get big hits to the head out of the game.

6 responses to “NFL, union agree to cover ALS within "88 Plan"

  1. Hopefully the NFL won’t use this as part of their bargaining for an 18 game season. This should of been done a while ago.

  2. I’m surprised the NFL was willing to work with the NFLPA on this one. It’s a good step in the right direction.

  3. I can understand taking care of retired players from days gone bye, but I have no understanding and no sympathy (no matter what is wrong with them) for those players that have been paid millions and millions of dollars and then squandered it, leaving themselves unable to pick up their own health insurance!

  4. I agree a great step in the right direction but the amount allowed seems light. $50-88K? I’m not sure what the actual costs for ALS care are but I do know we had a grandmother in a nursing home that was over $3K a month and she had sharp wits about her until the very end. She was 90 when she went in and there for at least two years so you can do the math.
    Anything is better than zero though.

  5. # piccolo says:
    Anything is better than zero though.
    What can you expect from a bunch of greedy bastards that wouldn’t even devote the proceeds from a single preseason game for the benefit for the players back in the 1950s, when preseason games weren’t making the kind of money that they are today.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!