A lot of hard work has gone into making this happen for the many hundreds of our fellow NFL brothers that played in the NFL, and are considered the makers of the game. The Baltimore colts Alumni have reached out and found out that hundreds of retired players need help now! Immediately – NOT in a year and a half when all the red tape is finally taken care of which is what happened to the Mackey family.
The Baltimore Colts Alumni group has work tirelessly since 2004 with no budget and just a few dedicated individuals to make this announcement from the league happen. We had to sell Baltimore Colts memorabilia and had the first fund Raiser for John Mackey in March of 2005 with the help of the Ed Block Courage Foundation after his teammates realized that the Mackey family was in dire need and that John’s wife had to go back to work just to make ends meet. Still there was no help from the NFLPA where John Mackey served as the first President after the merger between the AFL & NFL.
The NFLPA does not legally represent retired players and retired players for years have believe that to be the case but finally found that to be true when the Executive Director wrote this statement in a memo to a retired players group that was advocating for retired players benefits. Gene Upshaw said and wrote "Retired players do not hire me, they can not fire me and they are not union members and are Ungrateful for what they have been given to date.
"Writer Upton Sinclair wrote " It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it "
I think that describes the Executive Director of the NFLPA he does indeed work for the active players and has done a very good job for them since the new CBA of 1993 and beyond. There salary and their ancillary benefits have increase to God knows how much 14 years. Pension, Severance paid , 5 years health and dental, 401 K program has grown to 15K per year with a 2/1 match by the league, annuity program 65 K a year after 4 years in the league, just to highlight a few programs the that active players receive today beyond there salaries that were not afforded to NFL players prior to 1981.
We the makers of the game are very grateful to the league and the fresh approach of Commissioner Roger Goodell for taking the position that indeed the NFLPA does not represent retired players and that something new and exciting had to happen before all the makers of the game are dead and buried. The Baltimore Colts Alumni which has a blog that communicates with over 1,500 retired players applaud the league and look forward to working with the league to fight for medical assistance for the retired players across the country.