Eric Dickerson says Hall of Famers “with names” may boycott Hall of Fame festivities

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The NFL’s annual Canton kickoff is coming, with the league holding several days of events in and around a museum that will add eight more bronze busts — and that will rely on current members of the club to break out their yellow jackets and return to the cradle of pro football. But Hall of Famer Eric Dickeson apparently still has other plans.

Last September, Dickerson sent a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, and Hall of Fame president David Baker demanding lifetime health insurance, an annual salary for Hall of Famers, and a share of league revenue.

“Until our demands are met,” the letter explained, “the Hall of Famers will not attend the annual induction ceremony in Canton.”

The effort quickly crumbled, fueled by dynamic from the fact that some Hall of Famers didn’t know their names were placed on the letter to Dickerson’s demand that the Hall of Famers should get $300,000 per year to backing away from that claim to taking issue with 31-year-old news reports that Dickerson had crossed the picket line in 1987.

Now, the boycott may actually be on. Appearing Friday on WFNZ in Charlotte, Dickerson said that some big-name Hall of Famers may skip this year’s induction festivities due to the fact that the NFL treats its former players “like an outcast.”

“A lot of guys have talked about it, but you know we [may] try to start doing something about it,” Dickerson said. “One of the things we’re doing I mean is we’re possibly a lot of us not going to the Hall of Fame this year. Because I think it starts was guys like myself, guys with names. You know, the Joe Montanas, the Marcus Allens, the Richard Dents, the Lawrence Taylors. If you’ve got a guy who played [and] his name is John Thompson, you know, who is he? But you’ve got the guys with the names, and you have to have awareness. And I think that’s what it comes down to. No one is aware of how badly the players are treated and done. And I think when people think football, they think automatically, ‘He’s a rich guy. He’s rich.’ And guys aren’t rich. Some of the guys are making real money, but in our era, the base salary was $40,000.”

The NFL has shown no apparent inclination to give former players anything beyond the pensions and other benefits they negotiated for themselves while playing. As explained last year when the topic first emerged, every dollar that the league gives to the former players is one less dollar available to the current players. And as the current players try to get more from the league in current CBA discussions, it won’t get any easier for former players to get paid now for services rendered years, and in some cases decades, ago.

That said, Hall of Famers showing up for a weekend of parades and rubber-chicken entrees has value to the NFL, and maybe the Hall of Famers should get something of value for adding to the overall experience. While a fair amount would surely be far less than the money Dickerson wants, it’s better than nothing.

41 responses to “Eric Dickerson says Hall of Famers “with names” may boycott Hall of Fame festivities

  1. Some guys feel induction into the hall of fame is an honor.

    Others (or at least one other) think they should be paid for it.

    The difference is character, integrity, Sadly those in the latter group show their lack of those qualities.

  2. Hmm, sounds like he wants a stronger players union. Kinda hard to do that when you cross the picket line. He cares about himself only.

  3. Well…at least TO will join them in not showing up again? I get it, but it’s going to be difficult to get “lifetime health insurance” for every previous NFL hall of fame player plus a pay check…highly unlikely. Whether they show up to Canton or not. At least they get a pension which is unheard of these days in corporate America. And most 401K’s are crap compared with that.

  4. Dickerson is such an idiot. He was paid a lot of money during his football days and if he doesn’t have any money, too damned bad. Same goes for those players he named.
    Maybe if Lawrence Taylor hadn’t blown all his money on drugs and women, he’d have money today.
    If these guys boycott the ceremonies for this reason, they should be thrown out of the Hall Of Fame.
    I am so sick of egotistical players like Dickerson.

  5. Some guys feel induction into the hall of fame is an honor.

    Others (or at least one other) think they should be paid for it.

    The difference is character, integrity, Sadly those in the latter group show their lack of those qualities.


    I understand your sentiment. However in this case, not only is said company making a bunch money off their (HOFers) image but it is those players that makes it even possible for the HOF to exist.

  6. If the NFL is generating revenue through the hall of fame, the players that are IN the hall of fame should receive a percentage of the revenue. Why should Eric support a revenue-generating event if he doesn’t get part of the revenue?

  7. So if the NFL was losing money, then Dickerson should be fine with the NFL demanding loans from every HoFer.
    If he’s not then he’s a hypocrite.
    So the sense of entitlement has spread from millennial players to older players.
    Sad. Very sad.
    THIS is why fans root for TEAMS instead of players.

  8. First speaking as a man who grew up loving and still loves the NFL and it’s history, I think for any of the HOFers to miss the 100 yr anniversary of the league that you made regardless of how you feel now is terrible. The only living players that shouldn’t be there in Aug are obviously the one’s whose health won’t allow it. I understand that he wants the league to pay lifetime benefits to former players but that coupled with a salary above what their pension is I consider to be unreasonable. 300k because you’re a HOFer? Ok are you going to become an employee of the league and become and active ambassador for the NFL and put in say 25 hrs per week doing this? Do other museums pay the artists to display their works or is a mutual benefit for both. Dickerson is basically saying pay present and future HOFers for the act of inducting them. So now we’re paying you in order to honor you um ok

  9. What else can he demand?

    Death and funeral benefits?
    Free transportation to where ever he wants to go to?
    Future free nights in Vegas (to see Raiders)?


  10. Dickerson has been crying & whining about money his entire life. He cried about money when he played for the Rams until they traded him. He cried about money when he played for the Colts. He crossed the NFL players union picket line for money, while the players were on strike for better pay and benefits. Obviously Dickerson has always been for Dickerson only! Only cares about himself. This man made tens of millions of dollars, yet he is now broke. Same with Lawrence Taylor. Wasted millions on drugs and women. Hard to feel sorry for guys like this.

  11. Only $300K per year? Sounds more than reasonable. I mean, that’s respect, right?

  12. It’s a slap in the face of the current inductees to not be there for them. Keep the politics out of the fraternity.

  13. The ceremony is for the current year’s inductees. Who cares if the old folks are in attendance?

  14. I don’t see a line forming behind Eric Dickerson. I certainly hope he stays away from the festivities. But also, this is just another reason why I’m shocked at the poor job the NFLPA does with helping the players with investment advice. I mean, what do they do? There’s just no reason so many millionaires end up broke. Many of the players didn’t grow up with educated parents, and they definitely didn’t receive any kind of education at places like SMU. It’s embarrassing listening to Dickerson try to put a sentence together.

  15. So you have to be a hall of famer to receive lifetime health benefits?? Yea sounds right if anything those guys are the ones that can get endorsements and autograph sessions to offset costs instead of the fringe players that busted their ass and probably have multiple injury issues and can’t and won’t earn enough , it’s should be all or nobody

  16. To hear some of these guys talk you would think they fought in a war. It is a brutal game for sure and health care for life for the players should be a given. But a salary for life? C’mon man.

    Also the Hall of fame is not an NFL entity.

  17. First, the HOF is not technically a part of the NFL – of course, they work with the NFl but it’s its own entity and while people want to talk up the traditions of the NFL, the fact is that the NFL is not really about traditions, they’ll discard a lot of rules at the drop of a hat. These ‘legends’ may have helped popularize the NFL but the reality is no one really cares. What % of fans have actually seen Dickerson or anyone from even 2000’s play? Yes, it’s tough that inflation has changed things but the bigger thing is that TV changed the pay landscape affecting sports to a huge degree but life changes. Every society values different things at diff times in history. Look, 30 years an auto mechanic was a valued member because every car broke down every year but now? Unless you bought a rare lemon, most cars go 50K-100K with zero major issues and you just plug it in and the computer tells you exactly what’s wrong. Times change. Dickerson was well paid in his day. The world has changed – maybe he should have invested in Berkshire Hathaway and Apple stock instead of however he spent his money … so sorry dude, we should def help with medical expenses but the rest is on you – if you cultivated a personality to sell yourself and keep in the public – great – but if you did not, chose not to or just didn’t have the personality … that’s just life … of course, he has the right to boycott but frankly, does anyone really care? Wouldn’t the fans of today’s NFL rather see Brees and Mahomes and not some old 1980’s/1990’s player (I actually don’t even remember when he played).

  18. Who is John Thompson? He’s a Hall of Famer, Eric! Alright, different sport, but legendary Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson won a lot of games, including a national championship, turning out players like Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Allen Iverson and Dikembe Mutombo (no, no, no, not today Eric! / finger wag).

    I wonder what made him cite John Thompson as a name nobody had ever heard before…

  19. What does the NFLPA think about this? My guess is they don’t care. I doubt any of the current membership has ever thought about their life after retirement.

    Dickerson’s demands are ridiculous. I could see revising the pension system in some manner but $300k per year? That’s not going to happen. Also, does he want this for every player or just Hall of Fame players? The pension amount depends on the number of years played. The longer a player played, the more they get. It’s just like in real life. They get their full pension at 55. Also, the NFL provides a 401k and matches up to 200%. I’d be curious to know how many guys are taking advantage of that? My guess is not many.

    As far as receiving a share of the revenue, that’s never going to happen. Even if someone were to consider it, where does that money come from? The owners don’t want to pay it. The NFLPA doesn’t want to pay it.

    As someone else mentioned I could see them revising the pension to adjust the numbers some but it wouldn’t be anywhere near what Dickerson demands.

  20. The NFL needs the players when they’re playing, not after.

    As someone said the other day if players want to not get screwed in the next CBA the time to strike is as playoffs are about to hit.

    3 year max guaranteed deals, no franchise tags, no holdouts, no protests. CBA done.

  21. I don’t know who is more self-centered and unlikeable between T.O. and Eric Dickerson, but I do know who is more entertaining.

  22. When Dickerson was playing, did he ever lobby or sit out for increasing the pensions of retired players? No. Now that he is one, yes. It is all about Eric.

  23. He is demanding quite a paycheck for less than one day a year “work” attending an exhibition football game: lifetime health insurance, an annual salary for Hall of Famers, and a share of league revenue.

  24. If he does doesn’t want it, then remove him. It’s pretty simple, he doesn’t have to attend. Bart Starr and Pat Bowlen would probably want to attend and see old friends but they don’t get that chance. Enjoy the fame while you can, It is fleeting.

  25. Gee, Eric. A little short on cash? Sounds like it to me. What’s wrong with $20,000 or $30,000? You seem hung up on ”$300,000.” How’d you come to that amount?

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