21 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame including Eric Dickerson, Jim Brown, Jerry Rice and Lawrence Taylor have created the Hall of Fame Board and it appears that they are making it their mission to ensure that former players benefit from the league they helped build up. In a letter that was recently sent to Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and Hall of Fame President David Baker, the board has demanded health insurance coverage and a share of the NFL profits or they would boycott HOF induction ceremonies in the future.
Much has been made of the lack of support and empathy the NFL has for its players, both former and current. The absence of fully guaranteed contracts has long been a topic of discussion as the NFL is the only league of the four major American sports that does not have them despite arguably being the most brutal. Also with the recent controversy over players kneeling in protest of police brutality and the anthem policy (which was rescinded before the start of the season) the NFL can ill afford any more notions that they do not operate in the best interest of their players.
The letter, which was obtained by the Associated Press, was intensely critical of Goodell’s salary of $40 million saying that, “There are better uses for that money.”
Goodell and Smith need to get together and figure out a way to improve league-player relations or they will undoubtedly have a lockout on their hands when the current CBA is up. With players of this magnitude who are extremely revered throughout the NFL community speaking out, I have no doubt some action will be taken.