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George Martin meets with the NFLPA* to discuss retired players

DeMaurice Smith AP

A couple weeks ago we noted that NFL Alumni president George Martin couldn’t get a meeting with NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith to talk about the needs of retired players. That’s not the case anymore.

Martin sat down this week with Smith and NFLPA retired player advocates Nolan Harrison and Cornelius Bennett.

“I was very pleased that we as similar individuals who are retired NFL players eventually came together and talked about some of the things relevant and pertinent amongst us,” Martin told Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com and Sirius NFL Radio. “While I don’t think the results were what any of us would have anticipated, it nevertheless represented a good first step in us coming together and having dialogue. I think that’s the most important thing.”

Martin has been a longtime critic of active players, whom Martin sees as neglecting the retired players who paved the way for them. The active players working out a deal with the owners that improves retired players’ benefits to a level that will satisfy Martin is a long way off. But at least they’re talking.

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8 Responses to “George Martin meets with the NFLPA* to discuss retired players”
  1. elrushbo2 says: Mar 26, 2011 8:20 AM

    How can the NFLPA* meet with anyone at this point without proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the desertification of the union was just a tactic to gain leverage against the owners.

  2. packattack1967 says: Mar 26, 2011 8:22 AM

    and to rework the White Album

  3. zaggs says: Mar 26, 2011 9:23 AM

    How can a decertified union have its own official advocates?

  4. paulitik74 says: Mar 26, 2011 9:29 AM

    So what if the union decertified? The owners are responsible for the lockout 100%, The players aren’t holding a gun to their heads. The owners can come to an agreement while football still goes on. The owners are taking out their frustration on the fans, and you guys are eating their $#!+ and asking for seconds.

    I am not going to begrudge the NFLPA for using whatever legal means necessary to win their case. That’s America, like it or not. If De Smith didn’t, he wouldn’t be doing his job. But if you think the NFLPA is the reason there won’t be football, you’re stupid.

    And good for them for meeting with the retired players, it’s about time. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a few, and these guys aren’t the millionaire divas everyone thinks they are. Many are suffering from a number of ailments and better healthcare is the least the NFL and NFLPA can do to make sure these guys the help they deserve for the sacrifices they made for our amusement.

  5. thefiesty1 says: Mar 26, 2011 9:49 AM

    The players and NFLPA caused the lockout by not bargaining in good faith. They walked away from the table and decertified. So now they are just a bunch of individuals without a job.

  6. mick730 says: Mar 26, 2011 9:51 AM

    “Many are suffering from a number of ailments and better healthcare is the least the NFL and NFLPA can do to make sure these guys the help they deserve for the sacrifices they made for our amusement.”

    First off, nobody thinks of the retired players as “millionaire divas”. We know the current players are more apt to fit that description. Secondly, none of these players, past or present, chose a stint in the NFL in order to amuse people. They chose to play professional football becaue they had the talent and because it provided a very good living. And lastly, nobody held a gun to anybody’s head and made them play football. From the 1970’s onward, the risk/reward factor was and continues to be heavily on the rewards of playing football.

  7. src3346 says: Mar 26, 2011 10:31 AM

    Sounds like someone commenting had experienced a bad experience with a previous employer. It could mean that there are persecution issues. :)

  8. paulitik74 says: Mar 26, 2011 11:27 AM

    Who do you think ultimately paid for their livings? Fans. Whether that through tickets or buying the products from the commercials that provide the TV revenue. Amusement/ Entertainment whatever you want to call it. These guys made their livelihood off our amusement. What ever reason they chose their living, doesn’t matter. If it wasn’t entertainment, there wouldn’t be a market for it.

    Not every person enlists in the army for love of country. Some people are looking for career opportunities, help for college, travel etc.. It doesn’t diminish their sacrifice.

    And no, I’ve never had a problem with an employer. I just believe that the players have as much right as the owners to get what they want. Like it or not the NFL isn’t a normal company. NFL caliber athletes are a scarce commodity, and the players have a partnership with the owners. Just because someone is an owner doesn’t mean they have dictatorial power.

    Honestly, I don’t give a flying $%^# who gets paid what. I want football. The lockout was avoidable whether an agreement was made or not. The owners are responsible, I blame them. If it were a strike, I might feel different. The NFL has never been more prosperous or popular, so don’t punish me by taking away football because you are unhappy with the precedent you set in previous agreements you signed off on with your employees. And don’t act shocked that they might not agree to taking less share when yuo can’t justify why they should.

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