DIGNITY AFTER FOOTBALL
July 10, 2009
Dignity After Football continues
the summer Letter Series
Founder & President
Halll of Fame president Arif Khatib, (left) seen receiving Ambassador for Peace Award in New York
To Dignity After Football:
I have been asked by Brent Boyd to write a letter to express my feelings about the injustice regarding the retired players effort to correct a wrong from the past.
Although I am not a retried football player (I played basketball in the 50s/60s barnstorming with AAU teams), I have understood, watch and enjoyed these football players for many years. I congratulate these players for their modest success to this point in their effort to bring justice to the players who made the NFL.
Although they can't force the NFL Players Association or the NFL to do anything, they can at least let them know what matters to them, and holding the owners accountable and to some extend, responsible for the lack of support for these players. I'm hopeful that the current players will listen and it is my greatest hope that the retired players can succeed by telling them how they feel.
Now obviously, there is a difference between listening and acting, so it's natural that this be one of the criteria for hopefully correcting what should have been corrected a long time ago. It's the right thing to do for the players who made the league what it is today.
And most regrettably, those who have passed away before they could have enjoyed the last of their lives in peace is shameful. These are some of the trailblazers and forgotten heroes who are being virtually ignored by those who could make the difference in whether they live with dignity or not..
By now their stories of suffering are well documented: If that much is not a mystery, what does remain inexplicable is the absence of social, ethical and common decency for these players.
The quest to seal a legacy as more than just "football" players is seen in the neglect of these players and their unseen ailments likely caused by their playing football. That they are remembered but not respected is wrong and can and must be corrected. We here at the Hall of Fame (www.afrosportshall.com) have done our part to give them their due respect by inducting over 25 retired NFL players into our Hall of Fame. At least they can say proudly, "I am an Hall of Famer."
These players packed the stadium and player for a fraction of what the current players are receiving. I want to and will always remember these players. I hope them much success in the quest for dignity, respect and financial support from those who owe this just debt.
Sincerely and much respect,
"Trying to bring pleasure to someone because of the pleasure you feel in that person's pleasure is perhaps the most beautiful demonstration of love."--Arif Khatib
Testimony and Quotes, Video Feeds and News...
Hosted by Brent Boyd,Kenny Easley, Joe Kapp, Roman Gabriel, Big Ed White, and Col. Jack Kelly USMC Retired
(c) 2009 Dignity After Football. All rights reserved.