NFL Retirement Benefits: Issues and Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

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Furthermore, ERISA issues aside, according to Linda Sanchez (D-California), "It concerns me when those who work hazardous jobs don't get the care they deserve, whether a coal miner, tire factory worker or football player... " referring to the questionnaire distributed to the NFLPA requesting medical data pertaining to their retirees, she said, "I look forward to timely responses to our questions so we can determine what steps might be necessary that those who made football great aren't neglected."13

AP, 2007

Carpenter, 2007

Conclusion:

Professional football is, by all accounts, a violent sport whose participants frequently suffer significant physical injuries on the playing field. Because of the nature, frequency, and intensity of the collisions inherent to the game, especially at the professional level, the effects of football injuries often persist long after retirement. Most insidious are the cumulative effects of repeated cerebral concussions, only recently identified as a specific injury when they occur, especially with regard to the delayed after-effects of some of those collisions.

The recent deaths of several high-profile retired former NFL stars at relatively early ages and the disclosure of the debilitating physical condition of others have increased attention to the need to improve retirement benefits. In particular, the documented causal connection between postconcussion syndrome, early-onset dementia afflicting several 1960 and 1970-era NFL stars have inspired changes in medical benefits provided by the NFLPA, but overall, retirement benefits available to NFL retirees still pales in comparison to those available to retirees in other professional sports like NBA basketball and major league baseball players.

In 2007, the U.S. Congress addressed the situation and recently issued questionnaires requiring relevant information from the NFL and the NFLPA to ascertain the truth pertaining to various accusations of violation
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of federal retirement benefit law, and resolution of some type seems to be on the horizon. Ultimately, what NFL retirees are asking for is simply a system of retirement benefits that appropriately accounts for the physical abuse entailed by their careers, and the long-term medical consequences that are direct functions of having contributed to making the NFL the success it has become.

References

Associated Press. 10/24/07 NFL Adds $10 Million to Medical Fund, Latest Step in Dispute Concerning Retirees and Pensions. Retrieved, November 3, 2007, from CBSonline at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/24/ap/sportsline/main3404035.shtml?source=search_story

Associated Press. 5/31/07-35 NFL Players Qualify for Dementia-Alzheimer's Assistance Retrieved, November 3, 2007, from FoxNews Web site, at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,276617,00.html

Carpenter, L. 10/13/07 Congress Presses NFL, Union on Benefits. Retrieved, November 3, 2007, from WashingtonPost.com at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/12/AR2007101202059.html

Conrad, M. (1999) Sportslaw History: The John Mackey case. Retrieved, November 3, 2007, at http://www.sportslawnews.com/archive/history/HT8.html

Green, T. (1996) the Dark Side of the Game: My Life in the NFL.

New York: Warner

Holland, J., J. 10/12/07 House Committee Asks for More Answers on Injured NFL Players. Retrieved, November 3, 2007, at http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-nfl-disability&prov=ap&type=lgns

Kindervader, D. 6/27/2007 Retrieved, November 3, 2007, at http://www.emqb.com/congress-might-get-involved-in-disability-dispute-between-nfl-players-union/

Laird, B. 1/16/07 Yesterday's NFL Heroes Deserve Better Today: NFL Must Treat All of Its Players With Respect; the Baltimore Examiner. Retrieved, November 3, 2007, at http://nflretiredplayers.blogspot.com/2007/01/nfl-must-treat-all-of-its-players-with.html

McCann, M. 9/18/07 Sports and the Law; No Easy Answers: NFL Retirement System Not as Bad, or Good, as Argued. Retrieved, November 3, 2007, from SportsIlustrated.com at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/michael_mccann/09/18/hearings/index.html

NBA Players' Pension Plan; (2005) Legend of Basketball - National Basketball Retired Players Association. Retrieved, November 3, 2007, from https://www.nbrpa.com/nbrpa/03_14_05.aspx

Schwarz, a. 3/14/07 Football: Wives also Suffer as Dementia Sets in. International Herald Tribune. Retrieved, November 3, 2007, at http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/14/sports/DEMENTIA.php

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Associated Press. 10/24/07 NFL Adds $10 Million to Medical Fund, Latest Step in Dispute Concerning Retirees and Pensions. Retrieved, November 3, 2007, from CBSonline at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/24/ap/sportsline/main3404035.shtml?source=search_story

Associated Press. 5/31/07-35 NFL Players Qualify for Dementia-Alzheimer's Assistance Retrieved, November 3, 2007, from FoxNews Web site, at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,276617,00.html

Carpenter, L. 10/13/07 Congress Presses NFL, Union on Benefits. Retrieved, November 3, 2007, from WashingtonPost.com at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/12/AR2007101202059.html

Conrad, M. (1999) Sportslaw History: The John Mackey case. Retrieved, November 3, 2007, at http://www.sportslawnews.com/archive/history/HT8.html

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