Why does the NFLPA continue to Attack NFL Alumni?
In a website article entitled 100 CBA Facts You Need to Know, DeMaurice Smith and the NFL Players Association make the following statement “In October 2009, the NFL hired George Martin as President of the NFL Alumni Association—a newly created position. To some, the decision to hire Martin may be viewed as altruistic; to others, including Peter King from Sports Illustrated, the league’s motives were less benign, speculating that league may be trying “to crush the NFLPA by co-opting some of its alum[ni].”
Saying that Mr. Martin was hired by the owners is a huge slap in the face to all the retired players that invested so much time and effort in conducting a national search to make sure they got the right guy for the job.
The search firm of Spencer Stewart, along with a distinguished panel of NFL Alumni, interviewed 140 candidates before selecting Mr. Martin. The selection process was similar to what the NFLPA used to select Mr. Smith.
As I’ve said before, the only difference between the two election processes was that active players hired DeMaurice Smith and retired players hired George Martin.
The NFLPA would also like everyone to believe that this was a newly created position. Nothing could be further from the truth. The NFL Alumni has always had an Executive Director position, but unfortunately the prior Director, Frank Krauser was ineffective and was viewed by many as a pawn of the owners.
Besides the keys to the office, here is what Frank Krauser handed over to George Martin:
- A 2008 debt of $457,087
- Eight Chapters closed and a continually declining membership
- A Dues revenue decline of $14,010
- Unaccounted revenue for Superbowl tickets
- Chapter support to Headquarters (Affiliation fees) at its lowest in 5 years
- A 2008 NFL Alumni Inc. Superbowl event that lost $166,781 due to cancelled sponsorships
- Pro Legends, the NFL Alumni’s wholly owned subsidiary, losing money for three straight years. 2006: $24,999; 2007: $234; 2008: $16,538.
As you can see, George Martin has quite a mountain to climb; another “journey” ahead of him.
As you all know, Fourth and Goal spearheaded the movement to refocus the mission of the NFL Alumni on helping retired players, starting with the hiring of a new Executive Director. The duties of the position have been modified to reflect the new mission of the organization, but it is not a newly created position.
The NFLPA must really fear Mr. Martin, or they wouldn’t be making false, misleading and downright stupid statements, and they wouldn’t be doing everything they can to turn NFLPA Chapter members and NFL Alumni members against each other.
Why does the NFLPA fear him?
Well, first of all, he’s a true leader that has shown the ability to rally people together to accomplish something great (Journey 911).
Secondly, he wants to bring all retired players under the umbrella of the Alumni and has been given that task by the Alumni Board of Directors. There is strength in numbers and the more retired players that gather under the NFL Alumni umbrella the stronger we all become.
And last, but most importantly, he knows…..and the NFLPA knows…. we can generate revenue.
The NFL Alumni and George Martin have been working diligently to create an organization that will help former players long after the next CBA is signed, sealed and delivered. We all want to see reforms in the Disability Plan and a substantial increase in the Pension Plan – particullarly for pre-1993 players – but we can’t lose sight of the fact that the new partnerships with Stoneacre, 16W Marketing and American Medical Systems (Medical Alliance) will also pay big dividends in the years to come.
Strengthening our local Chapters and increasing our membership is also extremely critical to our success.
As Phil Simms recently said “There are a lot of great things going on with NFL Alumni that will make a positive impact in the lives of former players and their families,” “In only one year the organization has made great strides in bringing better benefits and services to retired players. There’s much more to be accomplished and there is no better time than now to get behind this movement by re-establishing the New York City chapter.”
In the past year, the NFL Alumni has established chapters in Tennessee and New Orleans with plans to double those efforts in 2011. The re-establishment of the New York City Chapter of NFL Alumni brings the total of active NFL Alumni chapters to twenty five.
Let’s keep this train moving!