Hall of Fame members threaten boycott of inductions

Former Bill Bruce Smith among the group

September 18, 2018 - 1:57 pm
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A group of Pro Football Hall of Famers is demanding health insurance coverage and a share of NFL revenues or else those former players will boycott the induction ceremonies.

In a letter sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and Hall of Fame President David Baker - and obtained by The Associated Press - 21 Hall of Fame members cited themselves as "integral to the creation of the modern NFL, which in 2017 generated $14 billion in revenue."  

Among the signees were Eric Dickerson, who is listed as chairman of the newly created Hall of Fame Board the group has formed, Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Joe Namath, Lawrence Taylor, and Sarah White, the widow of Reggie White. Former Bill Bruce Smith also is among the signees.

One name on the list of 22 signees including Mrs. White was Carl Ellard, but no one by that name has played professional football. Former Vikings defensive end Carl Eller, however, is a Hall of Famer.  

The strongly worded letter called out the league for paying Goodell $40 million, saying "there are better uses for that money." It also criticized Smith for his salary and the lack of a former player on the players' association executive board. But there have been two former players on that executive board since 2009.
 

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