I left a comment in the thread below a link to this article, after reading several comments that said other professions don’t have it as well as the NFL, and one comment that suggested the retired players didn’t spend their money wisely at all when they had it. Here is the comment reproduced:
Look, I don’t really care about the comments in this thread that suggest there is no problem because other professions are harsh or that if there is a problem, it’s the players’ doing.
The NFL players that are hurting are hurting very badly, and charity is not a long-term solution. To argue there is no problem isn’t humane; if we were truly humane, we would be looking for the problem. That the problem has to present itself to us is one degree removed from being moral, and trying to deny that anyone should be helped for their pain is two degrees removed.
MDS is right, although free-agency really puts a hamper on what teams should provide for which players that are retired.
The $60 mil a year figure MDS cites in the article can’t possibly be enough to deal with the expense of the treatements sports injuries require, let alone rebuilding lives.
The solution has to be twofold: 1. increase the amount of money for the retired players, and 2. create a mechanism – maybe put retired players in charge of a general fund for their benefit – that would insure equality.
The solution cannot be to trust teams in this regard. Free agency means which team would be accountable to which player? And the issue of equality – and I personally am very conservative – is the fundamental psychological issue regarding citizenship in a democracy. If we don’t conceive of ourselves as equals in some regard, we don’t have a society, let alone a nation. How exactly teams held accountable for retired players’ welfare would ensure equality is beyond me.