A large group of Pro Football Hall of Famers has announced that they will no longer attend Hall of Fame ceremonies until their demands are met, according to Arash Markazi. The group laid out their conditions in a letter sent to Commissioner Roger Goodell, DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA, and David Baker with the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Eric Dickerson is serving as Chairman of the Hall of Fame Board for the former players, and other Board Members include a who’s who of big names: Marcus Allen, Mel Blount, Derrick Brooks, Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, Richard Dent, Carl Ellard, Marshall Faulk, Mike Haynes, Rickey Jackson, Ronnie Lott, Curtis Martin, Joe Namath, John Randle, Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, Jackie Smith, Lawrence Taylor, Kurt Warner, and the widow of Reggie White.
The group is demanding health insurance for Hall of Famers and an annual salary as “early employees of a wildly successful business” and ambassadors of the game who are used for positive PR and to generate revenue.
The group also used Roger Goodell’s $40 million a year reported salary and DeMaurice’s salary and the construction of a $1 billion Hall of Fame village as evidence of the amount of money the NFL has, such that covering health insurance for all Hall of Famers is a relative drop in the bucket.
They will not attend next year’s ceremony if their demands are not met. And to think, just a few months ago the question was whether they should force a player to attend (Terrell Owens) in order to get inducted. If the biggest names in the sport sit out the Hall of Fame events, that would make for quite the public relations disaster for a league that likes to trot out its history and tradition during the ceremony.