Roger Staubach and other retired NFL players will be gathering in Arlington, TX this Friday and Saturday in hopes that their voice will be more readily heard by the NFL.
The group of retired players — known as the Retired NFL Players Congress Inc — has met four times before, but this will be the first time they gather as a legally incorporated entity.
“It is now owned by every former player who ever played in the NFL,” said Congress chairman and co-founder Bob Grant to the Dallas Morning News.
“We’re not accepting any funding from the league. We’re not accepting any funding from the [NFL] Players Association. This corporation is owned by the [former] players themselves.”
The group of retired players has long felt they were voiceless in the issues that affected them most, including health benefits, which has become a major topic within the league given the number of lawsuits filed in regards to traumatic brain injuries suffered by former players.
“Many of our brothers are hurting, suffering silently, pridefully,” said Congress president Marvin Cobb.
As retried players, the men in this Congress, cannot, by law, be part of an NFL Players Union that collectively bargains with the league on issues that directly affect the nearly 20,000 former players, their spouses and families. This group hopes to change that and to challenge the NFL on care given to those who now suffer as a result of playing.
Cobb said the group is growing and gaining a voice of their own, saying they “had good contact with the NFL over the last 18 months to two years,” adding, “I get the sense that they’re rooting for us.”