Player Rights and Safety

Cyrus Mehri

Cyrus Mehri’s Candidacy Reveals New NFLPA Constitution and Fresh Vision for Players’ Union

September 11, 2017 Sheilla Dingus In late August, Cyrus Mehri was scheduled to interview with Bryant Gumbel of HBO’s Real Sports.  The night of the interview, he had dinner with NFLPA President Eric Winston out of respect and as a courtesy; to announce his plan to challenge DeMaurice Smith for the elected position of NFLPA …

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Football is family - yeah, right.

Denial of NFL Player’s Disability Claim Shrouded in Inconsistencies and Conflicts of Interest

“Football is family.” That’s the warm, fuzzy sentiment the NFL broadcasts time and again every Sunday (and Monday and Thursday) to all who will listen. The harsh truth of the matter is “football is family” as long as you’re generating revenue for the league.
Jesse Solomon played nine years in the NFL. During his career as a linebacker for the Vikings, Cowboys, Buccaneers, Falcons, and Dolphins it is estimated that he experienced at least 69,000 full-speed contact hits. His dozens of orthopedic injuries which required multiple surgeries eventually ended his NFL career in 1995 when a particularly severe hit ripped his quadriceps tendon off his kneecap. All those violent hits also resulted in multiple concussions. But in those days we didn’t talk much about concussions and players just tried to “shake it off” and stay on the field, sometimes at the prodding of coaches and trainers as is customary in the league.

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Former Viking OLB Ben Leber

Half-Time in the CBA – A conversation with Ben Leber

By Sheilla Dingus November 7, 2016 Rewind the NFL game clock to 2011; Commissioner Roger Goodell has entered the five-year mark of his tenure and is now beginning to assert his authority as the emperor-like ruler of the league.  DeMaurice Smith, ascending to his second year as Executive Director of the NFLPA, is not a …

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Judge Anita Brody

Judge Anita Brody’s Feb. 8 Concussion Settlement Conference

Judge Brody ‘s concussion settlement conference was livestreamed this morning so I took advantage and got a few notes in addition to some screen captures, and tweeted it out. Here’s the Twitter summary in case you may have missed anything.

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Cyndy Feasel Interview

The Story of an NFL Wife – a Conversation with Cyndy Feasel

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live a fairy tale dream come true? And then see it unravel thread by thread? This is Cyndy Feasel’s reality. Cyndy was married to Grant Feasel who was center and long snapper in the NFL from 1984 – 1993, and was a starter for most of his career. I caught up with her recently and we discussed her experiences.

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injury during Bears/Titans game

What does Illinois Senate Bill 12 Really Mean in Regard to Pro Athletes?

Just prior to Super Bowl LI, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith made news when he blasted Chicago Bears chairman George McCaskey for endorsing a bill currently before the Illinois senate which would reduce workers compensation benefits to professional athletes. Illinois, which to this point has been one of the most progressive states in regard to workers comp, has as part of their state Workers Compensation Act, a provision that pays a wage differential benefit to permanently disabled workers through age 67. Senate Bill 0012 proposes to cut this benefit in regard to professional athletes at age 35.

When the bill, along with the fact that the owners of professional sports teams in Chicago, including the Chicago Bears support the bill, became known, Smith lashed out, referring to the bill as “just another way to bankroll the coffers of the rich owners who own these teams at the expense of the players who actually do all the work.” He further stated…

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Darryl Ashmore

Why did the NFL deny an 11-year veteran player’s disability?

Darryl Ashmore, a former offensive lineman in the NFL has filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida in hopes of claiming disability benefits the NFL denied him. Ashmore, played for the Rams, Raiders, and Redskins for eleven seasons between 1992 and 2002 and was a commanding presence on the field at 6’7’’ and 310 pounds. Now at age 46 he suffers early onset dementia as well as frequent and severe migraines, encephalopathy, memory loss, depression, anxiety, impaired concentration, nausea, hypertension, chronic pain in his neck, knees, back, wrist, and shoulders, herniated discs, and degenerative arthritis. According to an article in the Daily Business Review, Darryl Ashmore’s medical records indicate “Ashmore can no longer operate a vehicle, loses concentration mid-sentence and has short-term memory loss. An affidavit from his wife, Michelle, reports a decade-long decline marked by outbursts, forgetfulness and fatigue.”

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McClellin leap

Why does the NFLPA Want to Stop Leaping Field Goal Blocks?

Sheilla Dingus March 5, 2015 Last week at the Combine, the NFLPA presented a request for a rule change to the NFL Competition Committee.  As first reported by Mark Maske of the Washington Post, NFLPA President Eric Winston said: The jumping over on the field goal, I think, is just leading to a really dangerous …

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Wideman and Brady

Deflategate ‘Legacy’ Lives on in Wideman Ruling

Sheilla Dingus March 21, 2017 Two professional athletes – Dennis Wideman and Tom Brady; two sports – hockey and football; two CBAs; two very different suspensions; two appeals – all intrinsically linked through one court and opinion. Through a single ruling one player’s suspension was affirmed while another’s was slashed. What happened? Short answer: Deflategate, …

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How the NFLPA may have fumbled player safety

Intriguing thoughts from 3X Superbowl Champ Matt Chatham by Sheilla Dingus September 27, 2016 The 2016 NFL season is barely four weeks underway and at least 183 players representing almost every team in the NFL are dealing with injuries in varying degrees according to ESPN.  Of the 1,696 active players composed of thirty-two 53 man rosters …

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Safety in High School Athletics: Kingsport, Tri-Cities TN a Model

By Sheilla Dingus October 30, 2016 High school athletics develops many desirable attributes including teamwork, leadership, determination, and self-confidence, but along with these positives come safety concerns, and this is troublesome for many parents when considering whether or not their child should participate in sports.  Because of its inherent nature as a potentially violent contact …

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