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Several NFL Hall of Famers Call Out Commissioner Roger Goodell

Several NFL Hall of Famers Call Out Commissioner Roger Goodell

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Published by Robert Wilonsky
Among them: Randy White, Tony Dorsett, Mel Renfro and Rayfield Wright
Among them: Randy White, Tony Dorsett, Mel Renfro and Rayfield Wright

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Published by: Robert Wilonsky on Aug 01, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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July 30, 2013National Football LeagueAttn: Roger Goodell, Commissioner345 Park AvenueNew York, NY 10017Dear Commissioner Goodell:As members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, we write to express our concernsabout the NFL’s refusal to provide care for its former players and its continued denial of thelink between repeated head impacts and permanent brain damage.While we may be counted as among the greatest to play in the NFL, most formerplayers had short careers and made little money during that time. Some never even playedin a game, but were integral parts of practice squads that prepared us for Sunday. Weexpected to have bad knees or hips; we did not expect the NFL to hide the risks of the long-term health consequences associated with head injuries.Though the NFL now claims to be better protecting current players from the risksand consequences of head injuries, it is at times difficult to believe, especially as the Leaguecontinues to evade confirming the link between repeated hits to the head and long-termneurological issues suffered by so many of our football brethren.Numerous independent studies illustrate the hardships of many former playersconcerning neurological diseases and disorders. A government study published last September in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology found that NFLplayers are four times more likely than the general U.S. population to die from Alzheimer’sor ALS. Similarly, researchers at Boston University discovered in December 15 new cases of chronic brain damage in deceased NFL players. Previously, chronic traumaticencephalopathy (CTE) had been found in 18 of the 19 former NFL players whose brainswere studied.Over the past several years, we have seen too many former players commit suicideor pass away after years-long struggles with dementia. Legions of former players suffershort-term memory loss and other neurological issues, and many cannot even remembertaking part in some of the NFL’s greatest moments. In the meantime, the NFL publicly toutsthe “benefits” it provides to former players with brain injuries, while denying these playersnecessary medical monitoring, long-term care, and security.No one wants to see another generation of players suffer this fate. As formerplayers, we refuse to stand by quietly and watch men who unknowingly sacrificed theirhealth and future to the NFL go without the care they desperately need.Mr. Goodell, we ask you, as the Commissioner of the League, to provide the securityand care all former players and their families deserve. We love football, and want to see the
League prosper for years to come. But more than lip service is needed to provide for theplayers who made the league what it is today, and ensure that the game is safer for futuregenerations.Respectfully,____________________________________________ ____________________________________________Bruce Smith Eric DickersonHall of Fame Class of 2009 Hall of Fame Class of 1999____________________________________________ ____________________________________________Tony Dorsett Floyd LittleHall of Fame Class of 1994 Hall of Fame Class of 2010____________________________________________ ____________________________________________Dermontti Dawson Melvin RenfroHall of Fame Class of 2012 Hall of Fame Class of 1996____________________________________________ ____________________________________________Joe DeLamielleure Chris DolemanHall of Fame Class of 2003 Hall of Fame Class of 2012____________________________________________ ____________________________________________John Hannah Rayfield Wright Hall of Fame Class of 1991 Hall of Fame Class of 2006

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