DIGNITY AFTER FOOTBALL
Mission:
Dignity After Football is the organization whose purpose is to help guide and resolve the problems found in the benefits, disabilities, and pension organization of the NFL.
 
Objectives:
Currently, Congress and the government action agencies are requiring the NFL to comply with resolving the benefits and pensions program that has serious flaws in their process to support disabled and retired players.

 

BLOGS

There will be TWO blogs on DAF, one dedicated for players; and an important entirely separate blog for families...wives, children, parents, and friends of former players who are shells of their former selves due to neglect and betrayal from the League they loved and built with their bodies...

Click on the links below to go the Blogs... .

Player's Blog
http://dignityafterfootball.wordpress.com

Wives & Loved Ones Blog (--players not allowed) http://footballwivesandlovedones.wordpress.com

here below is a BRILLIANT letter written by a BRILLIANT woman and terrific therapist, Terry Lowey, MFT...Terry is committed to help us at DIGNITY AFTER FOOTBALL. This is a message for us macho men, for our wives, mothers, sisters, children...there is plenty of healing that needs to occur, whether Goodell or Upshaw do anything or not...this letter , we hope, will help kick off the wives/families blogs, and also it is a message each player needs to read and examine himself.

In the summer of 2006 a burly ex-NFL lineman sought counseling – again.  I came to learn that he had repeatedly availed himself of any and all help he could get over the years, as his life continued to unravel piece-by-piece.  Through the process of the weeks and months we spent in our weekly sessions this gentle giant wove his story. 

 

Anyone who achieves one of the few coveted positions in a major sports league is, by definition, set apart from the average person on the levels of physical superiority and sheer force of will, at the least.  Though he was depressed, anxiety ridden, financially poor, close to hopeless and clearly disabled, the greatness and power of spirit that had taken him to uncommon achievements all those years ago still shined through.  That was clear to me.  Unfortunately, at that point he had no conscious awareness of anything redeemable about himself or his life.  It was as if his view of himself was that of a worthless shell of a man, with his only contributions consisting of memories so distant that they didn’t count.  Worse, he was painfully unable to incorporate those past brilliant accomplishments into the essence of his current being: They were but an agonizing reminder of how far he had fallen, making them more a deficit than an asset.

 

You see, all of the glory and resilience had been knocked out of him. It was not the repeated head injuries or the numerous other physical wounds he incurred playing football that robbed him of his will to live.  What tightened the vice and caused him to turn on himself in nothing short of self-loathing was that his condition was not validated.  He was, in truth, ignored and maligned for his symptoms by the NFL – the very organization and sport he had loved and devoted himself to. 

 

I am completely convinced that had he received compassion, validation, continued inclusion, and emotional and financial support from the NFL that the years-later visit to my therapy office would have been with a different man, one with a fraction of the pain that he had endured. 

 

Contrasts provide some of the richest drama of our lives.  To accomplish applauded prominence and be treated with deference, only to later watch helplessly as your physical and mental prowess slips away and your strongest advocates turn their backs on you, often with disdain, is to be traumatized.  At least half of the suffering of those years, if not more, was completely unnecessary and avoidable.

 

If you are the family member of an NFL or AFL player who has suffered football related disabilities, his all too often tortured journey has been yours as well.  It does not have to be this way.  The answer is not in bitterness and resentment toward the NFL, which only compounds the damage already done.  The answer is not in a humiliated silence.

 

The answer is in a collective effort to pursue emotional and financial restitution.  Through DAF you are being presented with an opportunity to be an integral part of a healing organization that will advocate for nothing less than the restoration of lives.  Everyone benefits enormously from a transformed NFL that honors ALL of its members, past and present.  Let DAF be there for you by joining with them.  Together we can connect with each other to help players and their families take their lives back and restore solidarity.

Terry Lowey, MFT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testimony and Quotes, Video Feeds and News...
 
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the mission, objectives and cause of the organization is greatly needed and appreciated.

Hosted by Brent Boyd, Big Ed White, and Col. Jack Kelly USMC Retired

(c) 2007 Dignity After Football. All rights reserved.