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Joe D: Retired NFL Players Deserve A Lot Better

9:59 PM, Jul 16, 2011   |    comments
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Joe DeLamielleure

Buffalo, N.Y. - Joe DeLamielleure is one of ten NFL Hall of Famers who are suing the NFL and the players trying to get a seat at the negotiating table for a new contract.

While the owners and its players are trying to figure out how to divvy up $9 billion in revenues, some retired NFL players are trying to figure out how to pay their bills.

A few years ago we brought you the story of Donnie Green who played right along side of DeLamielleure on the Bills offensive line as a member of the famed Electric Company.

Green after a battle with drugs, was living in a mission in Maryland.

He played eight years in the NFL, His pension is about $800 a month.

In addition to better pensions, the retired players also want more money for health care.

Two years ago we brought you the story of West Seneca's Justin Strelczyk who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers

Strelczyk died a in a fiery crash on the Thruway, an autopsy revealed that he was suffering from dementia when he died at just 36 years old.

Joe DeLamielleure: "We had guys die to make this game safer and we want to be compensated for it, we earned it, we deserve to get it and we're not going away."

"There is not any reason why these retired players should not be taken care of and for life," says Tim Graham of ESPN.COM and the Buffalo News.

Graham says the retired players have been, and continue to be, an after thought when it comes to negotiations between the owners and the players.

Tim Graham: "This union represents the active players and these owners are worried about current revenues not missing any dimes at all, so unfortunately the retired players won't get the consideration that they deserve.

"Now, having said that, they'll see significant improvement compared to previously what they were allowed to get or where eligible for, but will it be what they could have gotten or should get, I doubt it. "

Scott Brown: "Would you say the stars of the league today, the Peyton Mannings, the Tom Bradys are turning their backs on you guys?"

Joe DeLamielleure: "I think they're ignorant to the facts they don't know the facts. With knowledge comes responsibility, now they have the knowledge, now they have the responsibility to do the right things."

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