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John Mackey’s death has Gale Sayers ticked off at today’s NFL

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The death of Pro Football Hall of Famer John Mackey, whose post-NFL life was a mess of health problems, has fellow Hall of Famer Gale Sayers feeling angry that the league and its players didn’t do more for Mackey.

Sayers told the Chicago Tribune that the NFL could have done more to help Mackey, who suffered from dementia and spent his final years in an assisted-living facility.

“You know, John Mackey died at 60-something [69],” Sayers said. “[The NFL] could have helped him more, I felt. But they didn’t, and the players could have helped more, and it didn’t happen.”

Although Sayers says he personally is doing fine and doesn’t need any assistance, he seems to be angry that the people making money in today’s NFL don’t show more appreciation for the people who built the league.

“There is no question that the game wouldn’t be a game if it wouldn’t have been for those people who played in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s and ‘60s. The players today are on our shoulders. They think they made the game the way it is today. And they didn’t,” Sayers said. “The [pioneers of the game] played for $5,000 a year, or $10,000 or $15,000. They played for that much money so that these players got $10 million or $20 million a year. Today’s players think they did it by themselves. It’s unbelievable how they could think and feel that way.”

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66 Responses to “John Mackey’s death has Gale Sayers ticked off at today’s NFL”
  1. squakmaster says: Jul 12, 2011 7:00 AM

    you have to admit he is right , today’s players owe it ALL to them

  2. childressrulz says: Jul 12, 2011 7:09 AM

    Easy……Gale Sayers or people will start calling you a socialist or a communist. How dare Gale suggest the mega rich look after the little people. I usually side with the players but this is one instance where they could show a little more compassion.

  3. joetoronto says: Jul 12, 2011 7:11 AM

    He IS right, where the “brotherhood” when you need them?

    That’s some union you got there, yikes.

  4. moth25 says: Jul 12, 2011 7:17 AM

    And another thing, you current players need to stay off his lawn!

  5. bowltr says: Jul 12, 2011 7:19 AM

    I’m going to come off to some as a mean heart-less SOB, but I’ve had enough of all these former players complaining about how the NFL and current players owe them something. The former players did this job voluntarily. No one forced them to do it and they were paid well for the time-frame they worked. Most if not all had scholarships to top universities and they should have used that to their advantage. If they chose to goof off and sleep through their school years and not utilize the gift they were given that’s their fault and I have no sympathy for them. They look at the current players with so much venom and jealousy because of the money they make. Well the current players deserve it. They have the talent and ability as former players did and they are utilizing it to their advantage. Drew Brees has a point why should he give handouts to former players that may have made bad investments or even have drug problems. The players have their own families to support without having to support a bunch of bitter ex-players looking for a handout.
    All I know is I have to pay my way through life regardless of my situation. It is MY responsibility to solve and deal with my own issues that confront me and my family.
    It’s about time these ex-players do the same.
    They all should shut up and get a job!

    Have at me everyone just leave some meat on my bones.

  6. igglesnut says: Jul 12, 2011 7:21 AM

    No more than any other worker or industry owes their success to workers in the past. What do former players deserve? Whatever they are contractually owed. Whatever their pension is from the pension agreement they signed when playing. Aside from that, quit your whining.

  7. Patriot42 says: Jul 12, 2011 7:25 AM

    You expect anything less from a bunch of pampered spoiled individuals that are put on a pedestal because of their talent. All they think about is how many babies they can father and how avoid responsible for.

  8. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Jul 12, 2011 7:28 AM

    Sorry old man, just because you worked somewhere 50-60 years ago doesn’t mean you are the reason it still exists. No one owes you a thing.

  9. mushin9 says: Jul 12, 2011 7:28 AM

    As a 35 year old father I completely agree with Sayer’s stance and the moral obligation of the current players.

    As a bulletproof 25 year old with money to burn and no real responsibility beyond having a good time and going to work (in that order) I don’t know if that moral certitude would have been quite so clear in anything other than an abstract manner.

    Not saying that the players don’t care, but when the average age of an NFL player is 26. Not sure how “in tune”anyone is at that age to the needs of those who went before them. Especially people that are unrelated people they never met.

    Maybe the rookie symposium should take a trip to a retirement home for NFL players.

  10. mistrezzrachael says: Jul 12, 2011 7:28 AM

    Sayers is correct…Plus he is one of those [ very few] who when he speaks..people should listen.

    GS is an icon…and without injuries could have been greatest RB ever

  11. blackdb says: Jul 12, 2011 7:33 AM

    TV has made the NFL what it is today the more the old bitter players speak out the worse they sound. Wow I am not very old but I can remember gas that was 89 cents a gallon in the eighties. My parents talk about paying a nickel for a coke and a dime for a hot dog. Times are different get over it.

  12. tundey says: Jul 12, 2011 7:36 AM

    At some point everyone has to take responsibility for their actions (or inaction). Sure today’s players make way more than the old guys but so what? As long as the NFL met their legal obligations to John Mackey, what else are they supposed to do for old players that have run into hard times? People in all walks of life run into hard times. Do we ask the railway companies to forever take care of old train engineers that have run into hard times? What about mine workers? Sure the NFL is hard but no one went into it thinking it was a 9-5 job? At the time those old players were making $5-15,000 per year, how much was the average office worker making? I bet it was much less than that.

    Bottom line, no matter your line of work, if you don’t plan for retirement you’ll suffer for it. It’s that simple!

  13. famousp22 says: Jul 12, 2011 7:37 AM

    HE IS RIGHT!!! And also Today’s players need a reality check

  14. coolzog says: Jul 12, 2011 7:47 AM

    Why can’t people just accept the fact that the choices they made in their lives are nobody’s responsibility but their own?

  15. bubbabart says: Jul 12, 2011 7:47 AM

    The NFL should be embarrassed…I wasn’t aware of the circumstances. Seems between the NFL and even the fans, someone should have stepped up. I know if a Browns player was down and out on his luck…I would help out as much as I could. Just not right!

  16. knightringonow says: Jul 12, 2011 7:53 AM

    I met Mr. Sayers at the Hall of Fame the year John Elway was inducted. John Mackay, interestingly enough was there, too. Could not have been nicer.

    Gale Sayers, signing autographs in the most angry, machine-like fashion, impressed me for all the wrong reasons. He seemed very, very, very, VERY angry. Why?

    I’ve worn McDonald’s stupid paper hats @$1.25/hour and I wasn’t as petulant as gale sayers was that day.

    That smiling photo you have on this page? Never happened.

    As the young Woody Allen said of Joey Nichols in Annie Hall
    “What an a**hole”.

  17. shaqattaqer says: Jul 12, 2011 7:53 AM

    i’m tired of these retired players being bitter that they’re old. hey, it sucks you’re not 25, but get over it. why should these new guys just give you money?

    i feel bad for john mackey & his family. dementia is terrible, but tom brady and peyton manning don’t have to pay his bills. it’s football – you know what you’re getting into!

  18. brownsfn says: Jul 12, 2011 7:59 AM

    Its the sense of entitlement that most of the youth in this country feel they deserve…it makes me sick…everybody wants everything handed to them and they want it NOW…nobody wants to work for anything anymore…

  19. packattack1967 says: Jul 12, 2011 8:01 AM

    Sayers is right. The money’s there for sure. Get these guys the best care possible.

  20. angrycorgi says: Jul 12, 2011 8:06 AM

    I understand what he’s saying in general, but to say the NFL/NFLPA did nothing or close-to-nothing is a misunderstanding. They setup the “88″ plan, which provides $88,000-a-year for nursing home care and up to $50,000 annually for adult day care. That’s a healthy bit of dough, when you think about it.

    Unfortunately, Mackey suffered from dimentia, most definitely due to brain damage resulting from playing football. Until something is realistically done to make the game safer, more of the cases will become the norm. People saying that the new safety rules are weaking in the game are the same morons who are also griping about the NFL not caring. Truth be told, safety rules will NOT water the game down. It will merely mean that people will have to reserve hitting to areas away from the head.

  21. tv426 says: Jul 12, 2011 8:07 AM

    Nobody forced anyone to play the game for $5k, just like no one is forcing anyone to play today for millions.

    What could the NFL have done – given the dude a new brain?

  22. biggerballz says: Jul 12, 2011 8:19 AM

    So if soccer or cricket becomes popular 50 years from now, today’s players should be compensated because they played when no one cared? Also living to 69 as a football player is pretty long so not sure what sayers is complaining about.

  23. realtimeeyes says: Jul 12, 2011 8:19 AM

    Their not just talking about money. Does anyone realize what some of these players have had to go through to get their benefits? Many players are turned away and told that their ailments aren’t football related. Just READ about Mike Websters demise! He is not alone. And please quit trying to compare YOUR job with how the NFL and other professional sports operate. you’re comparing apples to oranges.

  24. salmen76 says: Jul 12, 2011 8:22 AM

    “Hickory Dickory Dock, you no longer carry the rock”. nuff said. Ha Ha. Geaux Saints!

  25. roscott says: Jul 12, 2011 8:25 AM

    The point many of you are missing is that the former players played for love of the game and built it into the juggernaut it is today.

    Sayer’s isn’t saying they should get a huge chunk of the pie, just that those who played hard and have health issues related to their playing games should get more support from the NFL, which they helped build to it’s current success.

    It’s not about peoples choices, it’s about a league making billions doing the right thing for a few guys who helped create it.

  26. vadog says: Jul 12, 2011 8:30 AM

    Frankly, no one deserves a million dollars a year for playing a stupid game. No one! Players should have to get off-season jobs to support themselves…just like John Mackey and Gayle Sayers had to do!! PacMan Jones and TO are not worthy of cleaning their toilets.

    Secondly, the quality of players and the quality of the game was 110% better 40 and 50 years ago. Today’s players are greedy…and so are the owners, agents, coaches, officials and commissioner!

  27. mathsimillion says: Jul 12, 2011 8:33 AM

    While I agree that it was the former players who made the game what it is, and while I agree that the NFL’s retirement and health package has been lacking for them and needs to change, I disagree with the following statement.

    “They played for that much money so that these players got $10 million or $20 million a year”

    Those players didn’t play so players today could have millions of dollars. that thought wasn’t even on their mind. They played the game because they loved it and because it was probably the best job they could find doing something that they love to do. They also probably didn’t know the health risks like players today do.

    I respect the former players and what they did to build the league and they need to be shown some respect but don’t state what isn’t true to get what you want.

  28. poop81 says: Jul 12, 2011 8:35 AM

    They should do it like the VA does for the military. Any service connected disability gets you a percentage that you get monthly until you die. How doctors determine if weat ur suffering from is from playing football. If it is get a percentage.

  29. blackqbwhiterb says: Jul 12, 2011 8:39 AM

    Sayers has to keep his name in the media every so often so when he travels the NFL circuit selling autographs, kids have heard it. Otherwise, he’s with Pacman on the back step of the garbage truck……..

  30. mathsimillion says: Jul 12, 2011 8:43 AM

    “They played the game because they loved it and because it was probably the best job they could find doing something that they love to do”

    Forgot to add that this is something the current players need to show more of. How many of today’s players play for just the money and not because they love and respect the game? They can learn a lot of past players like Gale if they weren’t so damn spoiled.

  31. ldbright says: Jul 12, 2011 8:47 AM

    Really torn on this…I respect Gayle Sayers but not sure how to come to a definitive answer as opposed to just throwing at old guys for injuries,illnesses,and diseases that may not have been caused by playing football. The money could be there but should the league and players be responsible for assisted living,hospice,surgeries,medication,tests,screenings, and other medical needs? I really don’t know.

  32. semperfi24 says: Jul 12, 2011 8:51 AM

    This is what is wrong with America, half of us (the have nots) expect the other half (the haves) to take up the slack, and dish out handouts….

    Half of the people in this country dont pay taxes, and the other half has to take up the slack, and we wonder why we have a debt problem.

    Get over it retired players. Sorry that there werent billion dollar tv contracts when you were playing, life isnt fair

  33. lickenkittens says: Jul 12, 2011 8:53 AM

    Maybe he’s right. I’m pretty sure the NFL could have done more for former players. As a individual, you can’t count on other people to take care of you. It’s sad what happen to John Mackey, but really what would have helped him except having a time machine and going back to convince himself not to play football?

  34. wicky888 says: Jul 12, 2011 9:00 AM

    Boo-Hoo, I only make 5 million dollars for catching a football :-( I dont wanna hear it, no one forces them to play. If they dont like they can go learn to read instead

  35. jdvallee says: Jul 12, 2011 9:08 AM

    What other industry asks the current employees to take care of the previous employees? Lets ask Mr. Sayers what he has provided to the guys who were in the NFL and the AFL before he arrived. Hypocrite.

  36. paulieorkid says: Jul 12, 2011 9:14 AM

    I wonder if then NFLPA chief Gene Upshaw would have wanted to “break Sayer’s f____king neck” for those comments — like he did for Joe DeLamielleure for expressing similar sentiments.

    That right there tells you the problem is rooted in BOTH ownership and the active players.

  37. davidjcu says: Jul 12, 2011 9:19 AM

    I don’t know how everyone got off on the tangent that this guy mismanaged his money. It has to do with the health problems that he endured when his career ended. He was no where near compenasated for the risks associated with the job at the time.
    These guys were making 10,000-30,000 a year. Which might been a lot back then, but these guys are lucky to work 10 years, when the average person is able to work 30 plus years. The game was much more dangerous during that era and these players took a toll so their quality of life post-career was greatly diminished. People wonder why Jim Brown only played 9 seasons. The players of today are lucky that these guys fought for them to have the lucrative salaries that they so enjoy.

  38. qj1984 says: Jul 12, 2011 9:38 AM

    I agree with Sayers only because I believe that one day this current group of players will be the former players that are “looking for handouts” as some might put it. Some of the future hall of famers make more than enough to be set for life but I bet in 20 years most of them wont have a dime and they will be ill with injuries and illness that were caused by their career choice and not enough benefits to cover it all.

    If anything they should want to help former players to set a precedent to future players, just in case they need them to do the same thing they are refusing to do. And believe me, many of them will. Nobody wants to stop and think about the future. Its all about now now now, which is the exact reason so many of them are going broke or will eventually end up broke.

    Karma is a female dog and what goes around comes around 10 times harder.

  39. annnann says: Jul 12, 2011 9:47 AM

    “The [pioneers of the game] played for $5,000 a year, or $10,000 or $15,000. They played for that much money so that these players got $10 million or $20 million a year.”

    ————————–

    Really? You played just so players today could get millions?? No one in the 30′s-40′s knew the NFL was going to grow as much as it did resulting in billions of dollars of revenue. NO WAY retired players thought while they were playing: “I’m playing right now because I want future football players to get more money than me” Didn’t old-timers play for love of the game?

    I understand their anger and respect them but let’s be realistic here.

  40. parasonic says: Jul 12, 2011 9:49 AM

    This argument is like saying IBM and Microsoft need to financially support the people that made typewriters and word processors because they paved the way for the computer. please shut up. playing in the NFL was their best job opportunity (if it wasn’t they wouldn’t have chosen to play) and it’s their responsibility to plan for future life. Most players today don’t play the game because they love it. They play it because they’re athletically gifted and it provides a great living. The current pay of players is only due to the popularity of the game today. Players in the 60′s and 70′s would’ve made similar salaries (take inflation into account) if the game brought in the ratings and ad revenue it does today. But it didn’t, so they didn’t. So now those players shouldn’t be whining about it. Is it unfortunate? Maybe. But griping about it shows immaturity and lack of education in basic finance and economics.

  41. imjinbrdgr says: Jul 12, 2011 10:12 AM

    Those who say that the former players didn’t have to do what they did are right, they also just don’t get it. They played in the age of, just shoot it up and go back out there and how many fingers am I holding up, 2 OK your fine, go play. Now those practices are taking a toll as those guys age. Yes they weren’t forced to play, but if they hadn’t THERE WOULD BE NO LEAGUE TODAY.

  42. bunjy96 says: Jul 12, 2011 10:12 AM

    This is an easy problem to solve.

    Forget the pension and how it works, its not relevant to my point.

    Neither the league nor the union should be put in a position to “bail out” any player unless it’s caused by proven football health related issues. (Brees was right on that point.)

    In those cases BOTH the league and the union need to provide whatever financially is realistically needed. A fund should be set up from a percentage taken from the league and EVERY ACTIVE player contributing to that fund. The league should not be the only ones contributing.

    If a medical issue cannot be accurately determined by the “medical group” set up to approve/disprove initially, then an independent “medical source” should make the final decision. That would help eliminate issues that have occurred in the past

    See how easy that was.

  43. dirtyharry44 says: Jul 12, 2011 10:14 AM

    A few comments. Put today’s players in the equipment from the 60′s and I bet they aren’t as tough as they want everyone to think. I understand the money made today has to be frustrating for the players from the 70′s and before, heck my dad worked a lot harder than I ever have and he never made as much as I have in a year. Getting off the beaten path for a moment. What I can’t stand is the arrogance and entitlement that today’s athletes have, in any sport. Act like an adult. When you score, act like you’ve been there before. Hand the ball to the ref, point to the QB as a ‘thank you’ for throwing the perfect pass or pat your lineman on the helmet for that perfect block and then jog to the sideline. Players from the 60′s were men who played for the love of the game. Players today are children who are all about themselves and all about the number of digits on their paycheck.

  44. blacktoothgrinn says: Jul 12, 2011 10:20 AM

    Some of you guys are real a-holes. He wasn’t a drug addict or lazy, he had dementia. His brain was turned to mush from playing football. According to wikipedia (I know, take it for what it’s worth)

    “NFL Players Association initially refused to pay a disability income due to there not being a proven link between brain injury and playing football. The league and the NFL Players’ Association have responded with the “88 plan” – named after Mackey’s number. ”

    So the NFLPA didn’t want to pay, the players should realize that eventually they will one day be ex-players and may need help and not everyone is Brady or Manning, lots of guys make league minumum and may need help some day.

  45. allascowboys says: Jul 12, 2011 10:33 AM

    Not to sound mean or anything, but the current NFL players should not have to worry about the past players. Yeah sure the old guys made about $15000 a year back in the 40s, but thats when the dollar was a whole lot more compared to today. Back then a dollar would have been about 16 dollars today, so these guys were still makin a quarter million a year. For that time, that is considerably rich. The media is what makes these players so well paid. So these old players need to stop complaining, they were getting paid just fine back then

  46. m2karateman says: Jul 12, 2011 10:40 AM

    What could have the NFL and current players done for John Mackey? Nothing. Maybe, maybe they could have made his last years a little more comfortable. But the man was suffering from dementia, so he wouldn’t have known the difference. The current players can’t change the past, they can’t solve the health issues of former players. And what’s more, they shouldn’t be expected to. There is an NFL pension fund, and that’s what former players are entitled to, no more, no less. I respect former players for what they did to build up the game, but they didn’t make it what it is today, because if the current players sucked nobody would care. Gale Sayers comes off as a bitter, bitter man in this….and that’s unfortunate because he was a gifted player. Nobody held a gun to the heads of former players. They were SUPPOSED to have done it for the love of the game.

  47. bravin4evr says: Jul 12, 2011 10:42 AM

    This is an NFL problem; it’s not the players or the owners. THIS IS ISSUE FALLS INTO BOTH SIDES HANDS!!! The owners nor players would be making the money that they are if it wasn’t for the former owners and players!

  48. hereto4 says: Jul 12, 2011 10:52 AM

    I find this kind of self sacrifice that the older ball players spout is totally ridiculous. They pursued their God given abilities to a game they loved and whether or not profited from it, is immaterial. It was a love of the game and they were compensated accordingly.
    We, as human beings, make a living by talent, skill or intelligence and rely on ourselves to “make it.” Athletes do the same and often get more in the way of $$ and other compensation due to their fame then the “average Joe.”
    And then there’s the unemployed!

  49. jammer88 says: Jul 12, 2011 11:00 AM

    what a shame. A great player and humanitarian like John Mackey didn’t even get respect from todays players, many of whom are walking around with 1k bills coming out of their because of players like John Mackey. Rest in Peace John Mackey and thanks for all the years of entertaining us with your football playing skills.

  50. prior0knowledge says: Jul 12, 2011 11:04 AM

    Simple analogy: you buy a stock at 5, it moves to 8 and you sell it for a 60% profit. Next week, it moves to 100. Do you think the people who bought it at 8 and sold it at 100 owe you any money?

  51. bjiggy2 says: Jul 12, 2011 11:11 AM

    I am 37 years old and I am sick of these old guys crying about today’s youth thinks everything should be handed to them, etc.

    Yes, we appreciate that you played the game. We know that you were the foundation for the league, but you made the decision to play, you made decisions on what to do with the money you made while playing. While you were playing at age 23/24/25 you were not worried about how things would affect you later in life, so now you want the 23/24/25 year olds of today to make up for the lack of foresight and planning.

    1.) Why are these young men like this? Who raised the kids that had these kids? Take a look in the mirror.

    2.) Aren’t you former players asking for a handout now, you are owed something… Why do today’s players have to pay for your lack of planning.

    3.) What was that 10-20+ thousand dollars a year back in the 30′s, 40′s, 50′s? Is that what a guy working a 40+ hour week making?

    Come up with a solution that

  52. elschill says: Jul 12, 2011 11:34 AM

    I agree with Sayer’s point. But just once I would like to see the headline, “Sayer’s happy, not complaining about anything.”

  53. txbossman says: Jul 12, 2011 11:46 AM

    Sorry Gayle. In this life, men are responsible for themselves. Nobody puts a gun to anyone’s head
    and makes them play football for a living. Would the NFL be where it is today without the legends? No. So what? Between taxes, union dues, agents, etc what else to today’s players OWE to anyone?

    We seem to love to play fast and loose with people’s money in this life when it’s not our own.

  54. bunjy96 says: Jul 12, 2011 11:46 AM

    Handouts are totally different than paying for medical expenses that are football related.

    Not one dime for a handout.

    Whatever it costs for football related issues, pay it.

    Contributions should come from current players on the roster, including practice squead (% of salary contribution) and league (% of annual revenues)

  55. txbossman says: Jul 12, 2011 12:05 PM

    Actually, bunjy96, if it’s a work related injury it should fall under standard workman’s comp, just like anyone else in any other job.

    Players today owe absolutely NOTHING of their paycheck to players of the past. That’s like saying that I should pay money out of my check for people that were employed before me at my job. I can assure you that isn’t going to happen.

  56. aquanorange says: Jul 12, 2011 12:08 PM

    A lot of the comments on here against the old-timers contain poor analogies, such as comparing playing in the NFL to trading stocks(mere speculation), or comparing it to working in a McDonald’s, which has an almost inexhaustible supply of cheap labor. Also, many of the commenters who are against the older players say similar things, based on the assumption(how do they know this?) that the older players mismanaged their money, and that it’s about “personal responsibility”. Almost sounds as if there was a talking points memo that they all read from.

    If you disagree with Sayers, then fine, but at least be original. Fact is, this wasn’t some no-name from the leather-helmet era. This guy was THE MAN, in living color in our living rooms on Sundays. He isn’t that far removed from today’s players. To ask for today’s players to provide a generous retirement benefit, primarily in access to healthcare, to the men upon whose shoulders they stand, is not only reasonable; it’s good business, as the model will be held up as an example for all sports, and will help the NFL brand.

    To compare it to IBM and typewriters is fallacious at best, and disingenuous at worst. Sounds like political ideology seeping into a discussion about the game we all profess to love.

  57. richatthelake says: Jul 12, 2011 12:09 PM

    I wonder where all this “men are responsible for themselves” thinking will be when their social security rolls around?

    Will the same tough talk exist? Will it be “I paid into social security, they didn’t pay anything toward their retirement.”

    They paid with their bodies, their quality of life, many with their their lives.

    I’m a huge proponent of “taking care of ones self” not depending on others, but don’t kid yourself, when push comes to shove, many of the big talkers here will be right there with the old timers looking for their handout.

  58. qj1984 says: Jul 12, 2011 12:15 PM

    One more thing, I am a little disappointed in some of these comments. Its not like former players are saying, he Drew Brees has a 60 million dollar contract, pay me that much, pay me half of that or even 1% of that. They are not asking to become millionaires. Some of them are simply looking to be able to pay their bills and have insurance that actually covers there health cost completely. It wouldnt even take half of the bare minimum for current NFL players to assure them that.

    Whether you agree or disagree about whether the NFL and players should do it, dont try to make it like the past players are trying to become rich off of the current generations success. Prices go up and the cost of health care goes up, why shouldnt their pension and health coverage increase to meet the demand.

    Hell, millions of Americans pay into SSI and Disability, and those programs wont even exit in 20 years. Yet, we dont say anything when the people on those programs complain about the amount that they get even when they DO get occasional increases because most of them have paid into those programs already. Why should former NFL players be treated any differently?

  59. airraid77 says: Jul 12, 2011 12:15 PM

    Handouts are totally different than paying for medical expenses that are football related.

    Not one dime for a handout.

    Whatever it costs for football related issues, pay it.

    Contributions should come from current players on the roster, including practice squead (% of salary contribution) and league (% of annual revenues)
    ————————————————–
    lets play that out to it natural conclusion?
    every current cashier should have to pay a portion of its salary to ex-cashiers? correct?
    But what if that ex cashier is a millionaire? Its cashiering.oh wait you want to take it from millionaires but not give it..
    Every current college should give every ex college student a percentage of their salary, correct?IT students.
    where does it end and who are you going to exclude? the millionaire? thats a little racist, discriminatory, dont you think?

  60. bowltr says: Jul 12, 2011 12:30 PM

    I’ve read all these comments and it appears more people agree with me that I thought would. The people who keep claiming today’s players SHOULD do something are so far off base. Let’s separate whether these guys were “THE MAN” or not it does not matter. What the crux of all the kvetching from the retired players is today’s players are “greedy, entitled, spoiled and not appreciative” of the players before them. So what? Again why do today’s players owe them? Yes it would be nice for today’s players to do something but why should they be required to do it. We have numerous veterans of wars who can’t get help yet we want to help a guy because he carried a football and scored a couple of touchdowns? That to me is where the problem is. Jock sniffing fans who want cry foul because Gale Sayers was their hero when they were 9yrs old. Let me tell you something. The former players do not care about your situation, they would not hand you a blank check why should today’s players do it for them. Use that “FREE” college education you should have taken advantage of and put it to good use.

  61. ultimatesaintsfan says: Jul 12, 2011 12:34 PM

    I’m just curious as to how many of these current retired players felt this way when they were playing? and how much they set aside for the retired players in their days?

    I bet if you compare those numbers to todays numbers you’d find todays players take much better care of the retired players then these guys did in their hay-days perchentagewise.

    Like someone said earlier these guys had a chance to make something with their lives when they were younger most players had scholarships did they look ahead and think of the future and use it for a good education or did they think they would live forever off their NFL career (Not For Long) earnings?

  62. NoWearMan says: Jul 12, 2011 12:59 PM

    Gayle, how much money did YOU toss to John Mackey? That’s what I thought. (you DID say that the “players” could have helped more. You DID play, right?)

    My step mother had dimentia, by the way…was “it most definitely due to brain damage resulting from playing football”? Uhhh…no.

    Gayle Sayers…STFU.

  63. CKL says: Jul 12, 2011 2:53 PM

    No Wear…I had t get all the way to the last comment for someone to say what I was going to.
    If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s someone who tells others they owe money to someone else when they themselves haven’t contributed anything of their own. Start a Mackey foundation in his honor Sayres, then maybe you will get my respect for your stance on this issue.

    I saw a spot on Mackey’s family which aired the day after he died. His wife seemed to be a quietly classy lady with a sense of humor and grace about her. It’s a horrible thing what happened to dementia sufferers, but it’s worse for the family IMO. The person with the disease doesn’t know what’s going on while the family does and has to watch someone they love slowly disappear mentally along with having an immense amount of work and planning involved with caring for them. It’s a truly tragic disease. :(

  64. managod777 says: Jul 12, 2011 3:38 PM

    Hey bowltr get a clue. If you checked your facts you would find that the mass majority of all professional athletes back then needed second jobs to support their families. Does your argument work for workers who voluntarily built buildings with asbestos? They had no idea about the effects of concussions when those older guys played. I probably just wasted my time with you. But at the chance you might take a moment and think…

  65. bowltr says: Jul 12, 2011 4:11 PM

    Really they had 2 jobs. How novel! They and the rest of America who’ve had to work 2 jobs to make ends meet. So let’s get this straight…..they play 8yrs and they are out of football at 30. So what do they do for the next 30-40 working years, stand on a street corner asking for handouts? The point is just because they played a sport does not and should not make them different from every other person in this country who’s had to work to support their family through good times and bad. Why should today’s players bail them out? Your argument does not make sense because the past asbestos workers are not asking the most recent asbestos workers to pay for their healthcare. Also your argument is just plain lame because any fool who’s watched a football game can tell it’s very violent and you play at the great risk of being injured. The asbestos worker did not have that same information. They were working blind sort to speak. Bottom line is the former players are not owed anything from the current players. If the current players want to contribute to help them out then great but that is a CHOICE not a responsibility and the fact these former players are trying to embarrass the current players and the league into it is disgraceful!

  66. comeonnowguys says: Jul 13, 2011 5:40 PM

    Every six months, Gale Sayers pops his head out, sees his shadow, and complains about the modern NFL. You can set your calendar to it.

    Sometimes it will be about the Bears, sometimes it will be about their players, sometimes it will be about the league in general.

    The “get off my lawn” reference above pretty much hits the nail on the head.

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