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NFL Retired Players United

NFL Player Jeff Nixon keeping former players and fans updated on the issues affecting retired AFL and NFL players.

Why Professional Athletes Should Not Be Treated Differently Than Any Other Injured Employee

The NFL Players Association recently posted the following message on their website.

Illinois State Senate Bill 12 has very bad language in it that would treat professional athletes different than other workers in the state. SB 12 is sponsored by Senator Christine Radogno (“Rah-Dough-N-Yo”)

The Bears are proposing a bill which would treat professional athletes much worse than any other employee in Illinois saving the owners some money but making life more difficult for other minor league athletes throughout the state.

The bill fails to recognize that workers’ compensation costs in professional sports are NOT paid for by the state of Illinois or its taxpayers! Any benefits paid are not a financial burden to the State. (Workers’ compensation costs for all professional athletes employed by the NFL are paid out of the athlete’s side of the salary cap. As part of their agreement with the team owners, NFL players agreed to have less money available for salaries. The purpose of this agreement was to ensure that they would have access workers’ compensation benefits).

This bill ignores the fact that professional athletes seek wage replacement benefits when they are unemployed and when they are NOT GETTING PAID as the result of injuries and at a time when they are no longer able to play (not while they are playing) – when they and their families are most in need of help.

There is no justification for depriving athletes the same access to benefits available to any other injured employee. SB 12 is special interest legislation intended only to benefit team owners, not the Illinois citizens. This bill has no place in the State budget package.

The bill targets a single class of employees, many of whom are low wage earners and who rely heavily on the benefits from workers’ compensation to address any work-related injury. The bill would affect all levels of minor league professional athletes. Low level soccer players, baseball players, hockey players, and even women playing in the Women’s Football Alliance and WNBA, some of whom only earn a few hundred dollars a week, would be affected.

Athletes help generate billions of dollars for the Illinois state economy and pay hundreds of millions of dollars each year in income taxes to Illinois. Despite that, SB12 targets and only affects the athletes who play the game and risk injury on a daily basis, while still allowing all other employees of sport teams the same benefits as any other injured employee.

The bill fails to recognize that the total cost of workers’ compensation benefits paid by sports teams is minimal compared to revenues generated by athletes/employees. For instance, the Chicago Bears admitted workers’ compensation costs represent a small fraction of their substantial operating profit, based on league-wide revenues of over $12 BILLION.

How can you help? Take to social media and let your followers know how unfair it is to discriminate against you as former employees. We have to put massive public pressure on them to stop this from happening.

Louisiana tried to do this and the Saints players actually stormed the state legislature and took to social media to stop it and it worked!

________________________________________________________________________

You can send a message directly to Christine Radogno by clicking on the following link: Contact Form.  Please feel free to copy the statement below and insert it into the Comment/Question section of the contact form.

SB 12 is special interest legislation intended only to benefit team owners, not the Illinois citizens. This bill has no place in the State budget package. The bill targets a single class of employees, many of whom are low wage earners and who rely heavily on the benefits from workers’ compensation to address any work-related injury. This bill ignores the fact that professional athletes seek wage replacement benefits when they are unemployed and when they are NOT GETTING PAID as the result of injuries and at a time when they are no longer able to play (not while they are playing) – when they and their families are most in need of help. The bill would also affect all levels of minor league professional athletes. Low level soccer players, baseball players, hockey players, and even women playing in the Women’s Football Alliance and WNBA, some of whom only earn a few hundred dollars a week, would be affected. Athletes help generate billions of dollars for the Illinois state economy and pay hundreds of millions of dollars each year in income taxes to Illinois. Despite that, SB12 targets and only affects the athletes who play the game and risk injury on a daily basis, while still allowing all other employees of sport teams the same benefits as any other injured employee.

Please also feel free to contact Senator Radogno's office at 630-243-0800 or 217-782-9407. If you get her voicemail or a staffer – which is most likely - just read the above statement.

NFL Retired Players United!

Sincerely,

Jeff Nixon

Judge Brody to deliver LIVESTREAM video conference on NFL Concussion Settlement

Judge Anita Brody will hold a status conference on settlement implementation, which will be LIVESTREAMED in court on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 @ 10:30 am EST.

You can watch the conference live online, by going to this link: NFL Concussion Settlement Website and then clicking the button labeled "February 8 Status Conference - Live Stream."  

Judge Brody and the lawyers for the retired players and the NFL will be answering questions about the settlement. Questions can be submitted in advance to ClaimsAdministrator@NFLConcussionSettlement.com  Please put "Question for Status Conference" in the subject line.

After February 6, 2017, you will also receive an individual notice about registration. NOW THAT REGISTRATION HAS OPENED, YOU MUST REGISTER ON OR BEFORE AUGUST 7, 2017 TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SETTLEMENT AND BE ELIGIBLE FOR ANY BENEFITS.  

SPREAD THE WORD! 

Registering for the NFL Concussion Settlement

                                           Save the Date!  Monday, February 6, 2017

Settlement Class Members will be able to register for the Settlement program beginning on Monday, February 6, 2017.  That's just two weeks from today!  If you would like to make sure that you receive information in the future, just click here:  “Sign Up for Future Information” and provide your contact information. Signing up for more information will not register you in the Settlement, but will ensure that you are notified about important dates and other issues that pertain to the Settlement.

There is no further action that a Settlement Class Member can take, or needs to take at this time.  The Administrators of the Settlement are currently working to implement the BAP (Baseline Assessment Program) which will establish a nationwide network of independent Neurologists and Neuropsychologists who will be responsible for evaluating and diagnosing former players.  

Keep in mind, if you opted out of the Settlement, you will not be entitled to any of the benefits of the Settlement. If you're not sure if you opted out, here is a link to the official list of 143 former players and 19 relatives of former players that opted out: Timely Opt Out Requests Approved by the Court. 

No claims can be submitted now - and none have been submitted. No awards have been issued. If you are contacted by any person who is not a known and trusted source and who asserts that awards have been issued or who seeks information from you relating to a possible claim, you should not be influenced by the statements and should safeguard your personal information.

Click on this link: Frequently Asked Questions and see answers on various topics including the reasons for the Settlement, criteria for Settlement Class Membership, and potential benefits of the Settlement.

Before I close, I want to address something I read in USA Today on January 16, 2017.  The article was entitled Bo Jackson says blows to Cam Newton's head 'scare the hell out of me'.  In the article, Bo Jackson said "I think it’s best for me to stay out of lawsuits, so the guys who really need those funds can have them.’’   

While Bo Jackson's position is admirable, it's important to remind everyone that the fund is unlimited, and someone getting a claim paid does not take away from anyone else. Additionally, there may also come a time in Mr. Jackson's future where he becomes one of "the guys that really need those funds." NFL players are at least twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia than the general population.   

If you have any questions, please make sure you consult your attorney. If you do not have an attorney, you can email your questions to: ClaimsAdministrator@NFLConcussionSettlement.com, or call 1-855-887-3485. 



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