List of Class Members in Retired Players’ Class Action Lawsuit

Posted November 13th, 2008 by RetiredPlayers

There have been many requests for a list of the 2,074 class members in Parrish v. NFLPA and Players Inc. You can find the list below.  The list of names is in alphabetical order.

You may search the list by last name using the search field.

If the search field does not appear in your browser you can access it by clicking the button which is the second button from the right at the top of the list.

You can also enlarge the list by clicking the button at the far upper right of the list.


You can view a copy of the list in PDF form by clicking HERE.

Jury Awards Retired Players $28.1 Million in Parrish, et al. v. NFLPA

Posted November 10th, 2008 by RetiredPlayers

After three weeks of testimony a jury awarded over 2,000 retired NFL players $28.1 million in a lawsuit regarding the licensing of their images.  The jury said the union breached its fiduciary duty to the retired players and violated the terms of the players’ group licensing agreements.  $7.1 million was awarded in actual damages and an award of $21 million was given for punitive damages.  The purpose of a jury awarding punitive damages is to punish a defendant and to deter a defendant and others from committing similar acts in the future.  Punitive damages may be awarded only if defendant’s conduct was malicious, or in reckless disregard of plaintiff’s rights.

A jury comprised of eight women and two men listened to three weeks of detailed testimony regarding the operations of the NFLPA and Players Inc.  NFL Hall of Famer Herb Adderley served as the plaintiffs’ class representative and sat through five and a half hours of testimony each day wearing his yellow NFL Hall of Fame coat.  Herb is 69 years old.  Adderley’s teammate and fellow NFL Hall of Famer Bart Starr made the trip from his home in Alabama to hear closing arguments in the case.  Many other retired players attended court sessions to lend support to the plaintiffs.

“I won three Super Bowls and this feels better than all of them combined,” Adderley said immediately after the verdict was announced. “I always felt I had one big play left.”

Adderley was said to have wept as the verdict was read.

“This verdict is a great victory for the men who devoted their lives to building professional football,” said Lew LeClair, one of the attorneys for the retired players. “We are thankful the jury decided to right this wrong.”

Jeffrey Kessler, a lawyer for the union, said, “The decision is contrary to the law and it’s an unjust verdict and we are confident it will be overturned.”

Last month Kessler incorrectly predicted the jury would reject the plaintiffs’ claims.

NFLPA Interim Executive Director Richard Berthelsen said the union will first ask the judge to reverse the verdict and will appeal the decision if that’s unsuccessful.

“We felt we had to send a message that the union needs to represent and protect all its members,” said Susan Smith, part of the 10-person jury that voted unanimously in favor of the retirees. “We felt the players’ union didn’t do that.”

Closing Arguments Set for Friday in Retired Players’ Class Action Lawsuit

Posted November 5th, 2008 by RetiredPlayers

On October 21, 2008, a gag order was placed on the class action lawsuit regarding the licensing of retired players.  Since that time, little news on the case has left the courtroom.  A great way to get a summary of the case would be to attend the closing arguments which are set for this Friday, November 7, 2008.  Closing arguments will begin at 7:30 a.m.  The location of the court is:

United States District Court,

Northern District of California

450 Golden Gate Avenue

San Francisco, California

Closing arguments will be held in Courtroom 9 on the 19th floor.  The court is located less than 15 miles from San Francisco International Airport.

A map of the location of the courthouse may be viewed by clicking HERE.

Former Bengal Reggie Williams Fighting to Save His Leg

Posted November 5th, 2008 by RetiredPlayers

Reggie Williams’ list of accomplishments is impressive even when you exclude his NFL career.  Born with impaired hearing, he attended the Michigan School for the Deaf.  He left high school with a 3.8 grade point average and graduated from Dartmouth College.  Williams was a member of the Cincinnati City Council and spearheaded legislation which helped end apartheid in South Africa.  He also served as vice president of Walt Disney Sports Attractions.

Throw in that Reggie Williams is the last Ivy League player to receive First Team All-America honors in football, played fourteen seasons in the NFL, competed in two Super Bowls, was named NFL Man of the Year in 1986, Sports Illustrated’s Co-Sportsman of the Year in 1987 and his accomplishments may be unmatched.

Williams traveled from his home in Orlando to New York for knee surgery and what he thought would be a brief stay in the Big Apple.  His brief visit has turned into a seven month stay while living in a studio apartment.  He has had nine surgeries since he arrived in New York and undergoes daily infusions of intravenous antibiotics.  Now Williams isn’t just hoping to walk again.  Reggie is fighting to save his right leg from amputation.

At 54 years old, Reggie Williams’ goals have changed.  The sky was the limit for his goals as a social reformer, but his current goal is something that is an everyday occurrence for most people.  Williams simply wants to be able to pick up and hold his two year old granddaughter.  He says that being able to do that will be his Super Bowl victory.

Reggie Williams has had both of his knees replaced and has undergone twenty knee surgeries.  However, the NFLPA and NFL Management Council denied Williams application for disability benefits.

Throughout his health problems, Williams optimism and will are seemingly unmatched.  He found inspiration in an e-mail he received from Bishop Desmond Tutu when his infection became so bad that he was quarantined in a New York hospital.

Click HERE for an inspiring video on Reggie Williams’ accomplishments and his current fight to save his leg.

Retired Players Class Action Trial to Begin Next Week

Posted October 15th, 2008 by RetiredPlayers

The NFLPA and Players Inc. have used their exclusive representation of NFL players to generate hundreds of millions of dollars through group licensing deals.  However, retired players have not received any of this money and active players have only received 31%.  The NFLPA and Players Inc., which have both been run by the same group of executives, have kept the remaining 69%.  Through this lawsuit retired players are seeking their fair share of group licensing revenue.

The trial is set to begin on October 20, 2008, in San Francisco.  Each weekday the trial is set to begin at 7:30 a.m. and is scheduled to run roughly five hours each day.  The location of the court is:

United States District Court,

Northern District of California

450 Golden Gate Avenue

San Francisco, California

The trial will be held in Courtroom 9 on the 19th floor.  The court is located less than 15 miles from San Francisco International Airport.  You are encouraged to show your support of the retired players by attending the trial.

A map of the location of the courthouse may be viewed by clicking HERE.

Players Inc. and Union Take 69% of Group Licensing Revenue

Posted October 15th, 2008 by RetiredPlayers

NFLPA rules mandate that an NFLPA certified agent may not charge more than 3 percent of a player’s compensation for contract negotiation services.  However, the NFLPA and Players Inc. kept 69% serving in a similar capacity negotiating group licensing deals for NFL players.

Dr. Daniel Rascher, a specialist in sports economics, wrote:

“From 2003-2005, the NFLPA/NFLPI(Players Inc.) kept 64% of group licensing revenues.  A change in how the NFLPA/NFLPI treated $8 million in licensing revenues resulted in an increase in the percentage kept by the union.  As a result, the NFLPA/NFLPI kept 69% of group licensing revenues in 2006 and 68% in 2007.  Figures for other sports associations, such as the NBPA(National Basketball Players Association) and MLBPA(Major League Baseball Players Association), as well as for third-party licensing entities, are typically between 10% and 40%, with levels around 25% the most common.  It is my opinion that the NFL’s 64%-69% share is outside of the customary range, and I know of no reason why it should be outside this range.”

The text from Rascher’s report may be viewed by clicking HERE.

The NFLPA website informs players that:

Marketing agreements are also very common. The fees for these services average about 20 percent of the marketing dollars negotiated by the agent, which is standard for that industry. Some players are paying as low as 5 percent, and a few are paying 25 percent.

Why are Players Inc. and the NFLPA charging nearly 70%?

Players Inc. Tells Licensee Not to Use Any Retired Players

Posted October 15th, 2008 by RetiredPlayers

Throughout the discovery phase of the retired players case against the NFLPA and  Players Inc. many documents have been uncovered which show that Players Inc. improperly represented approximately 2,100 retired NFL players who signed group licensing agreements.  One document in particular has received little media attention but may be one of the most revealing pieces of evidence in the case.

The document is an e-mail chain between Lashun Lawson of Players Inc. and employees of Electronic Arts.  Lawson was in charge of video game licensing at Players Inc. for ten years before leaving to take a position at AOL.  Electronic Arts(EA) is the creator of the Madden NFL video game franchise.

The first e-mail from Electronic Arts to Players Inc. states,

“I know that Players INC doesn’t want us to include any retired players ‘in the game'”

Later in the e-mail chain, in a message between Electronic Arts employees, it is stated that despite EA’s attempts to use retired players in the Madden video game, Players Inc. instructed them not to do so.

“They(Players Inc.) said ‘no’ to this despite my attempts to convince them otherwise.  They have taken a hard line on no retired players in the game in any form.”

A copy of the e-mail chain may be viewed by clicking HERE.

Players were told earlier that,  “Players Inc. licensees such as EA Sports are permitted to secure retired NFL player rights only from Players Inc, not from any other source, contrary to what others may have told you.  This offer will be your only opportunity to participate in NFL player video games and get paid.

Athletes Donate Brains to Aid in Study of Concussions

Posted October 8th, 2008 by RetiredPlayers

More than a dozen athletes, including nine NFL players, two NBA players, an NHL player, and a member of the U.S. national soccer team, have decided to donate their brains after their deaths to the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.  So far six tissue samples acquired from deceased NFL players have been examined.  Five of the six tissue samples showed evidence that the players suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a type of brain damage commonly associated with boxers.

NFL Brain Donation

The Sports Legacy Institute acquired the six tissue samples already examined.  The Institute recently launched a brain donation program for athletes, current and retired, with and without a history of concussions.  United States military veterans are also being asked to participate in the donation program so that more can be learned about injuries sustained in battle.  It is hoped that the research will help millions of athletes of all ages in the future, along with military veterans.

The Daily Free Press recently covered the work of the Sports Legacy Institute.  The article shows visual evidence of the difference between normal 65-year-old brain tissue and the brain tissue of deceased NFL player John Grimsley who suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy.  You can access the article by clicking HERE.

Visit the Sports Legacy Institute website to learn more about the brain donation program.

The Sports Legacy Institute is seeking donations from both active and retired athletes with or without a history of concussions.  If you are interested in participating in the Sports Legacy Institute brain donation program you can download the donation pledge form by clicking HERE.

NFLPA Hires Reilly Partners

Posted October 6th, 2008 by RetiredPlayers

Last week the NFL Players Association hired a firm to aid in their search for their next executive director.  Reilly Partners, a Chicago based search firm, will assist the NFLPA in finding Gene Upshaw’s successor.  Last year, Reilly Partners played an integral role in the search that resulted in the NHLPA hiring Paul Kelly as their executive director.

Current NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly was the assistant district attorney involved in a grand jury investigation into Alan Eagleson, the NHLPA’s first executive director.

Eagleson was indicted by a Boston grand jury and was fined $700,000.  Later that year, he pleaded guilty in a Toronto court to three more counts of fraud and embezzling proceeds from the 1984, 1987 and 1991 Canada Cup tournaments.

Reilly Partners Chairman Bob Reilly and Managing Director Dave Poulin handled the NHLPA’s search and will serve in the same capacity for the NFL Players Association.

Poulin is no stranger to professional sports.  He spent 13 seasons in the NHL, competed in three NHL all star games, and three Stanley Cup Finals.

The NFLPA also retained former NFL player Pat Richter to assist in the search.  Richter played eight seasons for the Washington Redskins from 1963 to 1970.  Richter and NFLPA interim executive director Richard Berthelsen both attended the University of Wisconsin while undergraduates and both also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

When Should You Draw Your NFL Pension?

Posted September 19th, 2008 by RetiredPlayers

If you are one of the NFL players whose career lasted long enough to qualify for NFL pension benefits you will need to decide when to begin drawing your pension. The Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan defines “Normal Retirement Age” as “the first day of the calendar month coincident with or next following a Player’s 55th birthday.”

football-moneyAlthough the NFL retirement plan defines normal retirement age as 55 years old, many players begin drawing their pensions early. A player may do this for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons given for NFL players drawing their pensions early include the belief that they would only live into their early 50’s and the need for money to pay for medical expenses related to their NFL injuries.

Only retired players who played at least one NFL season prior to 1993 may elect to begin to receive benefits as of their 45th birthday. All other players must wait until age 55.

Players who begin drawing their NFL pension before age 55 are penalized for doing so. This is referred to as “early retirement”. For example, a player who begins drawing his pension benefits at age 45 would only receive 45.2% of the monthly benefit that he would receive if he waited to draw his NFL pension at age 55.

If a player waits until later than his 55th birthday to begin drawing his NFL pension, his monthly benefit will increase. This is referred to as “deferred retirement”.

Here are the basics of how an NFL monthly pension benefit is calculated:

(Sum of benefit credits) x (Early or deferred retirement factor) = Monthly pension benefit

To find the amount of your monthly benefit:

1. Find the sum of your benefit credits using the table below:

Credited Season Benefit Credit
Before 1982 $250
1982 - 1992 $255
1993 - 1994 $265
1995 - 1996 $315
1997 $365
1998 - Final League Year $470

If you played from 1982 to 1985 the sum of your benefit credits would be:

$250 + $255 + $255 + $255 = $1,015

2. Find your early or deferred retirement factor using the following table:

Age Early or Deferred Retirement Factor
45 0.452
46 0.487
47 0.525
48 0.567
49 0.612
50 0.662
51 0.717
52 0.777
53 0.844
54 0.918
55 1.000
56 1.091
57 1.191
58 1.305
59 1.431
60 1.573
61 1.733
62 1.913
63 2.118
64 2.352
65 2.619

3. Multiply the sum of your benefit credits by your early or deferred retirement factor.

Here are is an example of how much your monthly benefit can vary depending on when you decide to draw your pension.  If you played from 1982 to 1985 and begin drawing your pension at:

Age 45: $1,015 x 0.452 = $458.78 per month

Age 55: $1,015 x 1.000 = $1,015 per month

Age 60: $1,015 x 1.573 = $1,596.60 per month

Age 65: $1,015 x 2.619 = $2,658.29 per month

The monthly benefit amounts listed above are for a “Life only pension”, meaning that an NFL player will receive his monthly benefit until he dies.  Many players with families elect to receive a form of NFL pension that has a survivor benefit.  If a player elects to receive a pension with a survivor benefit then the amount of the monthly benefit will change as well. If the player dies before his beneficiary, the beneficiary will continue to receive a benefit from the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan for a certain period of time.

You can read more about NFL pension survivor benefits by clicking HERE.

People have different financial needs at different times of their lives.  Knowing how your age affects the amount of your monthly NFL pension benefit will help you evaluate when to begin drawing your pension.

To learn more about your pension and other benefits you can visit the NFL Player Benefits Office website at  If you have not logged on to before you can call (800) 638-3186 to set up an account.

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