NFL: Sayers to players: Shame on you
Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2011
NOVI, Mich. ó Gale Sayers sent a stern message to NFL players, challenging them to help those who paved the way.
ěSome players of todayís game think that they made the game what it is today. I beg to differ,î Sayers said Friday night at an event hosted by the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund. ěThe players who are playing today are standing on the shoulders of those who made the game what it is that played the game for peanuts.
ěIf todayís players cannot help these players, shame on you.î
The former Chicago Bears running back was honored along with retired stars such as Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau and 1997 Super Bowl MVP Desmond Howard.
NFL players asked a federal appeals court earlier Friday in St. Louis to declare the lockout illegal almost three months after it started. A lawsuit filed by current players against the league has been amended to included complaints from retirees led by Hall of Famer Carl Eller.
Hall of Fame player and former Chicago coach Mike Ditka said before the dispute can be settled to save the season, both sides have to be willing to negotiate at the bargaining table instead of trying to make legal arguments in court.
ěYou canít let egos get in the way of negotiation,î Ditka said. ěYou have to give to take.î
The two sides are trying to figure out how to share the NFLís $9 billion in annual revenue.
ěItís kind of goofy. The American public canít feel sorry for either side because they canít relate.î
Retired players are pushing for better pension and health benefits in the next collective bargaining agreement.
ěIf they want to fix the pension for former players, all they have to do is match what baseball does for their former players, they have the best pension in all of sports,î Ditka said. ěIím fighting for the disability and the medical help that we need.î