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.

3 Responses to “Players Inc. Tells Licensee Not to Use Any Retired Players”

  1. comment number 1 by: Dave Washington, Jr.

    As an 11 year veteran of the NFL 1970 – 1980, a Sports Editor covering the past 25 years of the NFL and NFLPA activities, I have seen the good – the bad and the ugly of each. Finding favor – in a love hate relationship with the PA, I served as Commissioner for several NFLPA, Super Bowl Kids Day activities. Mind you this was during the time of dual events the NFL Experience and the PA’s Kids Day program. As an original host with Ronnie Lott and Marcus Allen we coordinated the efforts until the World’s Largest Super Bowl Party (WLSBP) got too big ($$$$).
    Somewhere in my files is a copy of my original application for participation in the NFLPA marketing program. To this day I have not received a call for participation. We have had constant communication with the PA over the years in attempts to gain contracts with NFL licensees, again with no success.
    Check my web-site in a couple of weeks we will have footage of past kids day involvement.
    Keep us posted on the progress of the trial and if we can be of any assistance do contact us.
    Thanks and keep up the great work you guys do at Retired Players.
    Grace and Peace

  2. […] can read more about the trial by clicking on the links below: Players Inc. Tells Licensee Not to Use Any Retired Players Players Inc. and Union Take 69% of Group Licensing […]

  3. comment number 3 by: michael pleasant

    I played the game for the love and not the pay. I was so happy to be a part of a special brotherhood call the NFL. I had a short pro-career but it was life to the fullest. Giving my all everyday and not just on Sunday. Everyday I would reach down in search of something special. As a member of the NFL Retired Player Association, I find it hard to accept the fact that the same people that represents the players and was a player would “sack” the very people he or they were put in place to protect. My family and I are still here. While some retired families have passed on, it is now time for the players association to bring life back to the retired and forgotten. For without the retired player their would have been no future for the NFL.