Retired NFL Players to Sue NFLPA

There are more lawsuits floating around in the world of sports. But this time it’s not unions suing owners, or players’ associations suing league execs. This time, it’s retired NFL players who feel as though they’ve been getting the short end of the stick — and all because they’re no longer playing.

The lawsuit has been filed by 28 retired NFL players including Carl Eller, Chuck Bednarick, and John Hannah, although it represents all retired NFL players. The lawsuit is against the NFL Players’ Association; DeMaurice Smith, the union’s president; Tom Brady, New England’s quarterback; and Mike Vrabel, a former player in the league. The suit deals with the collective bargaining agreement that was agreed on to stop the lockout and get the season started for this year. The retired players say that their rights were given up during negotiations, in order so that the current players in the league could receive more benefits and bigger pay.

Just two of the benefits the retirees were forced to sacrifice affected their pension incomes as well as their health care in their retirement years. More importantly than that, the retired football players are also saying that because the union was decertified in March 2011 before the lockout began, there was no union to represent them and so, their rights were violated.

Lawyer Mark Hausfeld is representing the plaintiffs in the case. He was also the lawyer that represented the retired players while the labor dispute was being settled. And while he’s been talking plenty about the case, players on the defendant’s side, as well as the executive director of external affairs for the NFLPA, could not be reached for comment.

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