Baltimore doesn’t forget its Colts. And one of those former Baltimore Colts, Bruce Laird, (Baltimore Colts’ defensive back from 1972 to 1981 and a San Diego Charger in 1982 and 1983) wants to make sure that his former teammates and other retired NFL players are remembered in a more tangible way than street signs. Specifically, retirement benefits.
There are more than 400 retired NFL players that receive a very small pension and have no medical or disability benefits from the NFL. These former players have no power at the bargaining table because the NFL Players Association does not represent them. They did receive an increase from the Players Association recent ratification of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the subject of one of my recent posts.
Mr. Laird, running back Tom Matte, and other Baltimore Colts’ alumni are spearheading efforts to make the situations of the retired players a higher priority of the League and the Players Association as well as to educate the public and the media. These efforts include the formation of a new group announced by Mr. Laird in his recent post on the NFL Former Players blog:
We are pleased to announce the formation of a 501(c)(3) organization – legally designated as Baltimore Football Club, Inc., and operating nationally as either Fourth & Goal or Defending Champions – to advocate for pension and disability benefits, representation and other issues affecting retired players; and to raise funds on behalf of and to assist retired players in need.
And so while its Media Day tomorrow during this Super Bowl Week, it’s a story that most of the media haven’t been covering. One member who has is Ron Snyder of the Baltimore Examiner, and here’s a link to his coverage of these former NFL players.