George Martin Letter re: Carl Eller Class Action Lawsuit

Dear NFL Alumni Association Members:

As most of you know, a Class Action complaint was filed against the NFL by Carl Eller, Priest Holmes, Obafemi Ayanbadejo, and Ryan Collins, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated.

I am most concerned with the effects of the complaint as it relates to retired players.

Some of the issues raised in the complaint are related to the benefits we receive as retired NFL players. These issues have long been a concern of mine and our organization. In fact, our Campaign 2011, which was launched in January, highlighted many of the issues contained within the complaint.

For more information on Campaign 2011, please visit NFL Alumni News.

I want everyone to know that the only reason I have not made a decision on whether or not to support this litigation, is because I feel it is necessary – as the Executive Director NFL Alumni Association- to give the leaders of this organization and its members the opportunity to comment and provide me with their council.

Although the individuals that were represented at the first meeting, have decided that they are supporting the litigation as individuals and not as the representatives of any organization, I feel it is only prudent to give the members of the Association, the opportunity to review the litigation and provide me with their thoughts and recommendations.

This is important, because it will be these same members and elected leaders that I would be going back to ask for their feedback on what they would like to see in any proposed settlement.

This past Tuesday, May 17th my Assistant Director, Ronald George participated in a teleconference with people that were present at the first meeting with Carl Eller and the litigation team. As I understand it, a process has been talked about that would seek the input and recommendations of retired players regarding pension benefits; (b) disability benefits; (c) medical benefits; and (d) medical monitoring.

The Association has been very clear on the improvements we would like to see in regard to pension benefits, disability benefits and medical benefits. I am aware that this litigation would attempt to unify retired player demands into one coherent settlement document.

The press release announcing the meeting said “The participants also agreed to coordinate their engagement in a collective and unified campaign to galvanize their respective networks of contacts in order to effectuate the necessary restructuring of the relationship between retired NFL players and the league and the benefits that the league provides to such players.” 

I highlighted the phrase “their respective networks of contacts” because in my case, that would obviously be the Association members, and as such, I owe them the courtesy of letting them know what I am doing with regard to any and all decisions I make that could have an impact on their lives.

It is not easy to galvanize a group, much less a large group of individuals, especially if they think you have already made a decision that could affect them – either positively or negatively.

Even though I would be speaking on my own behalf, there could still be the perception I am acting on behalf of the organization. With that in mind, the organization is not making any official announcements about the lawsuit until I have had input from you… the members of the Association. Please send your thoughts and comments to Membership@NFLAlumni.org.

My Assistant Director, Ron George will be attending the meeting in Chicago on Wednesday, May 25 and through him, I will let everyone know where I “personally” stand on the Carl Eller class action lawsuit.

Sincerely,

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About Jeff Nixon

Jeff was a first team consensus All-American from the University of Richmond in 1978. He is 7th in NCAA history with 23 career interceptions. Played for the Buffalo Bills 1979-1984. Led the team with 6 interceptions in Rookie Year. Holds Bills record for 4 takeaways in a single game - 3 interceptions and a fumble recovery. Tied Bills record with four consecutive games with an interception. After 5 knee surgeries Jeff retired from pro football in 1985. He worked for 13 years (1988-2000) as the Youth Bureau Director for Buffalo and Erie County. He has worked for the past 11 years as the Youth Employment Director for Buffalo. Plays guitar and was voted best R&B guitar player by Buffalo Nightlife Magazine in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Posted on May 25, 2011, in NFL Alumni News and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I believe a unified approach is the best approach and I support George Martin

  2. if george martin and the nflalumni receive funding and subsidy from the nfl, how can they possibly support the eller lawsuit against the nfl and how can they equitably represent retired players when they have no standing in the lawsuit or any right to bargain for retired players. they continue to kick tires and spin wheels without realizing that they are and have always been beholden to the nfl….think of the hundreds of golf tournaments and millions of dollars raised by retired players for NFL CHARITIES that allows the NFL to make magnanimous gifts on national tv. DUH…when will they ever get it.? it is “being used” to defeat yourself.

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