Gary Knafelc spent nine years playing for the Packers and later was the public address announcer at Lambeau Field, and he is enshrined in the Packers Hall of Fame. But he doesn’t think the NFL cares much about him these days.
The 81-year-old Knafelc told NBC 26 in Green Bay that players from his era who have had health problems are viewed as just a thorn in the side of the NFL, and that what the NFL is really waiting for is them all to go away when they die.
“We don’t have a voice, and I really believe the reason that we don’t have a voice is that they’re hoping that if we keep dying off at the rate we are, we’ll be all dead and they won’t have to worry about anything,” he said. “I’m not kidding at all. No, I’m very serious about that.”
Knafelc played in the days before the players had a union, and he doesn’t think the union cares about players from the old days.
“The NFL Players Association has to step up and protect us, and they don’t do that,” he said. “All they care about is the current players and the guys that played after 1970. The ones that played prior to that, they’ve kind of just forgotten entirely.”
Still, Knafelc is not among those who regret playing football.
“Dumb as I am,” he said. “I’d do it again for the same money if I could.”