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NFL, retired players settle lawsuit over use of players’ images

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Flanked by Jim Brown and other retired players, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced today that the league has settled a lawsuit relating to the use of retired players’ images.

Under the settlement, the NFL will contribute $42 million to a newly established Common Good Fund that will be administered by a group of retired players and used to support retired players who are struggling.

“We see this as a very positive step that will help promote our retired players, our game and will ultimately be very beneficial for our retired players long term,” Goodell said.

Brown said the fund will allow retired players to “reach out and help a lot of our players who really need help.”

The settlement also establishes an independent licensing agency dedicated to the use of retired players’ publicity rights, overseen by a board of retired players.

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19 Responses to “NFL, retired players settle lawsuit over use of players’ images”
  1. pnut87 says: Mar 18, 2013 4:04 PM

    Well, isn’t that a nice warm fuzzy…

  2. nineroutsider says: Mar 18, 2013 4:07 PM

    So the fund is worth less than Dashon Goldson’s new contract? Also, you failed to mention that it will take them 8 years to build up to that amount.

    Well, at least legal threats make the NFL throw the tiniest of bones to older players. I don’t care about today’s players nearly as much, or anyone who received a large contract, but the NFL was paying the real old school guys absolute chump change (yes even when adjusted for inflation) and built the league on their backs…this tiny fund is the least they could do, I mean be forced into doing.

  3. tndiver says: Mar 18, 2013 4:07 PM

    Wow! I am surprised they got this done. I hope there won’t be any reports of misuse of funds. I applaud the NFL for setting this fund up, allowing veteran players to run it AND allow them to control their likeness in other venues for profit.

  4. thejohnsmith1122 says: Mar 18, 2013 4:12 PM

    You’d think there is some contractual agreement that the NFL can use ANY player’s image, both present and former, without having to pay another dime.

    I might actually feel bad for the NFL if everyone wasn’t so greedy.

  5. leightonbreard says: Mar 18, 2013 4:14 PM

    NFL NEEDS TO TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE WHO BUILT AND MADE THE GAME THE MOST POPULAR PROFESSIONAL SPORT! #PLAYERS retired or current doesn’t matter both had and have a hand in the league, then, now, and in the future! So take care of your sport and it’s contributors!!

  6. jets4gold says: Mar 18, 2013 4:17 PM

    struggling? They struggle because they have no value if a dollar nor how to spend wisely. They all go out buy multi million dollar mansions and diamonds to show they have money. Learn financial responsibilities and you won’t have to blame it on brain trauma.

  7. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 18, 2013 4:32 PM

    Older siblings will no longer be allowed to post the image of Jim Brown on their bedroom door to keep younger siblings and parents out. Without contributing to a retired players fund.

  8. musicman495 says: Mar 18, 2013 4:36 PM

    jets4gold says: Mar 18, 2013 4:17 PM

    struggling? They struggle because they have no value if a dollar nor how to spend wisely. They all go out buy multi million dollar mansions and diamonds to show they have money. Learn financial responsibilities and you won’t have to blame it on brain trauma.
    Since this story is not about the concussions lawsuit, perhaps ex NFL players are not the only ones suffering from brain trauma.

  9. dremmel69 says: Mar 18, 2013 4:38 PM

    Why does the union of current players continue to neglect former players so shamefully. The players today are earning insane amounts of money due, in part, to the deeds former players. Yet the NFLPA treats them as though they are radioactive. Too worried about sharing any part of their slice of the pie.

  10. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Mar 18, 2013 4:48 PM

    @jets4gold says:
    “struggling? They struggle because they have no value if a dollar nor how to spend wisely. They all go out buy multi million dollar mansions and diamonds to show they have money. Learn financial responsibilities and you won’t have to blame it on brain trauma.”

    Um, while I’m sure current players are included I’m also pretty sure they’re not directing the funds just towards today’s players. More like to the players that built this game back in the day and that made less in a season than many guys make in one quarter of a game today.

  11. elvoid says: Mar 18, 2013 4:55 PM

    Good grief jets4gold – comprehension problem? This is about older NFL players – not the rich kids of the past decade or so.

    Not too many players from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s “went out and bought multi-million dollar mansions.” In 1980, the average NFL salary was about 78,500. (Source: NFL survey as reported in NY Times) Sure, stars got much more – but most retired NFL players were not “stars.” They were grunts, and they were expendable.

    Hell, plenty of players from the 60’s and 70’s worked in the off-season to make ends meet. These are the guys this meant for.

  12. anythingbutyanks says: Mar 18, 2013 4:56 PM

    So, $1.5M per team? I’m sure their first follow up question was “Cash or check?” I don’t necessarily think that lawsuits should be resolved to “hurt” the offending party, but for the NFL this is just laughable.

  13. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Mar 18, 2013 5:05 PM

    If you don’t take care of the past & what got you where you are how can you expect to have a solid foundation for the future?

  14. 69firebird says: Mar 18, 2013 5:29 PM

    Vince young and donte culpepper will probably be first in line

  15. tominma says: Mar 18, 2013 5:40 PM

    There are MANY players from the 50s, 60s, 70s who are in dire financial straitsl and and have serious medical problems! This fund will help those kinds of players who built the NFL into what it is now! Some did well for themselves–Gayle Sayers, Terry Bradshaw,Jim Brown etc but MANY did not! John Mackie is nearly blind, confined to a wheel chair and sufferes from dementia and neary broke! He was regularly chosen All- Pro and was the prototypical tight end. Think Gronk 4″ shorter who could block lik hell!

    Now I HOPE the veterans who administer the fund makes sue that help gets to needy players. Wonder why multi-million dollar players ot today dont contribute to this fund!

  16. noring4youstill says: Mar 18, 2013 6:14 PM

    This isn’t going to allow them to use the fund for bad idea investments

  17. mazblast says: Mar 18, 2013 7:50 PM

    I wish they’d add some competent financial types, such as accountants or tax lawyers, to that group of retired players who are going to administer the fund.

    It’s not that I think the retired players will do anything wrong with the money, but they may do some things that aren’t the best investment moves. I can already see the con men and other sharks circling.

  18. gtodriver says: Mar 18, 2013 8:42 PM

    The NFLPA has been around since 1956 and claims that it looks out for their members.

    What have they done to help the older retirees?


  19. kmack831 says: Mar 19, 2013 5:42 PM

    Yeah this number should be Higher!! and is it really going to take 8 years to fund? that not right!!

    The Commish got nearly 30 MILLION!! Last year!

    The NFL gets about 50 MILLION!! per year from EA Sports for MADDEN NFL game in exclusive license deal.

    I do recall there was an issue of using older players in that. I think there was a settlement for the NFLPA?

    Pigs get fat… Hogs get slaughter! And NFL as a whole is a Pig…hopefully doesnt get to be a Hog!

    It is a 9 BILLION!!! a year Biz now?

    Help out the Old folks. They are really looking for Health Care and basic things like that… They are not asking for Bentlys and trips to Hawaii.

    Help all your players out with Finical Advisors, maybe like a 401(k) Plan that takes a part out of their checks…

    NFLPA dues? does that create a pension?

    Also Teams / NFL need to hire Big Brothers… Sick of all these DUI’s and idiots getting into trouble! durning the Season we should have ZERO incidents!

    Offseason we wish for none, but harder to babysit them.

    With the RICH History of NFL… Past and Present. United Ways, Play60 and all the GoodWELL NFL tries to do, this could be used as something positive, and something More should be done than just a lawsuit…

    NFL should take care of their OWN… Dont be HOGS!!

    Pigs are cute!

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