Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL, received a letter from high-profile Hall of Famers stating that they will not attend their annual induction ceremony until they start receiving health care. Players who sacrifice their bodies throughout their NFL tenure and risk irreparable damage do not receive preventive medical care. It is unthinkable that players who risk concussions and early physical damage are not receiving medical management. The letter to Goodell states: “To build this game, we sacrificed our bodies. In many cases, and despite the fact that we were led to believe otherwise, we sacrificed our minds. We believe we deserve more right to at least deserve health care…the time has come for us to be treated as part of a fame we have given so much to.”
As the momentous annual induction date approaches, the players will continue to boycott and voice their dismay. It is unfathomable to the fans of football who witness players exit the game early because of injury to not have health protection after they retire. They are exploited and put their bodies on the line every week for seven months out of the year. We have witnessed gurneys on the field escorting spinal cord injuries and head on collisions off the field. Football players receiving mild concussions and returning to the very same game. More medical precautions need to be mandated on and off the field. The repercussions are NFL retirees that are in poor physical health.
Retired NFL players, after five years, similarly, do not receive health care. The goal is for all retired NFL players to receive continual health protection. By starting their health care boycott with the Hall of Famers, a trickle-down effect should enable all players to receive a universal wellness program. They put their bodies on the line for the sport of game and are in physical distress after they retire, as life after football has the shortest longevity than any other sport.
“People think we have this great pension. We don’t. We don’t have health care after five years. It’s not right, but this is for all players. And, we have to start with the Hall of Famers to get this off the ground,” Eric Dickerson, Chairman of the Hall of Fame, told ESPN.
As a group, the NFL is struggling with severe health problems. To build this game, the players sacrificed their bodies and their longevity after the game. A plethora of Hall of Famers will continue to voice their consolidating opinion and boycott Hall of Fame ceremonies. The letter sent to the NFL commissioner, Goodwell, signed by High-profile players, with the intention to boycott annual ceremonies, is gaining newsworthy traction, and should be retracted — because health care is just a normal thing to have.