DIGNITY AFTER FOOTBALL.ORG
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A SUMMER FULL OF LETTERS FROM DIVERSE SOURCES
THIE FIRST FROM DAF BOARD MEMBER, NFL LEGENDARY QB JOE KAPP,
WHO HELPED PIONEER OUR ANTI-TRUST FIGHT WITH NFL
(Joe's letter is below pictures on this page)
A brief summary of Joe Kapp from the media---
"Kapp started an anti-trust lawsuit vs. the NFL claiming the standard NFL contract was unconstitutional and a restraint of trade. He won the Summary Judgment after four years. The court had ruled that Joe Kapp’s trade was indeed restrained. It was two years later (April 1, 1976) in the trial for damages, that the jury decided that Kapp was not damaged.
Although Kapp was not awarded any damages, in 1977 the rules at issue in the Kapp case were later revised, a new system was instituted, and a multi-million dollar settlement was made between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.' (end quote)
WATCH THIS VIDEO- YOU MAY BE IN IT!
Sports Illustrated cover- Joe Kapp- "The Toughest Chicano"
Joe Kapp-former Head Coach at Cal- (winner of the Stanford band game)
June 29, 2009
letter from Joe Kapp
"CALL OF THE BALL"
Call of the Ball
Way back when we were kids on the streets or on the school yard, back yard, or an open field where I lived in Salinas, California. We played with some kind of a ball. Almost always the ball was round and had various sizes with different bounce back qualities.
We played morning, noon and night at the games we were familiar with and sometimes we made up a few games of our own. Our source of knowledge was the radio –The Friday night fights Pabst Blue Ribbon presenting Joe Louis the Brown Bomber fighting in Madison Square for the heavyweight championship of the world, Saturday matinee newsreels with Bill Stern, and the Sunday San Francisco newspapers. We were youthful fans of all sports but of course the ball was the focal point for getting some action and putting the game in play.
There was a ball that was not round and if we could get a large enough group we would play football. The foot was used for kicking off and starting the game or punting on 4th down but nobody ever punted. The game was all about hitting. The question of “touch” or “tackle” was not ever brought up in East Salinas or Alisal where we lived. So we played a game that could easily be called “hit ball” and we learned early, it was hit or be hit!
All of our stories are just about the same. We came along at a time the evolution of pro football was starting to prosper. There are games/sports and pastimes that are more life threatening like auto racing. But no sport has caused the cumulative damage to so many bodies than football. The sport of boxing has great danger to the head but the game of football is dangerous to all body parts. As a player, the game of football has something for everyone. Big strong fast guys can play any sport but what do we do with little fast guys or slow big guys or mean little kids that need their asses kicked.
And the fans can identify with football better than any other sport.
Along the way at every level our courage, toughness, manhood, intelligence and mendacity was questioned and challenged. After being denied to compete for the Boston Patriots in the 1971 season I brought and won a Summary Judgment in the 9th circuit against the NFL. The court said “change something “. Under pressure of this lawsuit and others the NFL chose to change free agency which has been
a bonanza for present day players.
Nobody ever put a gun to my head to play football so like all of my contemporaries we chose up sides and picked the game of football for our chance to be a world champion. All of us would no doubt do it again. I played Quarterback and was paid more than most. I do not know many players still alive that would have heard the call of the ball and not make the choice to play the game. The shame is the game/industry has left out the very players that was the basis for any integrity the league now enjoys.
The only semi public company that owns a NFL franchise is the Green Bay Packers. They have published financial information. All the numbers are in the Millions. The franchise appreciates in value. The present day players are very well paid with benefits built on the backs of old players.
There has been no reconciliation with the huge success of the owners of the franchise. The men that PLAYED MADE and PAID the price in pain and damages to their families health in an earlier time have been left out of the tremendous riches of the financial appreciation of professional football.
In a game that demands leadership and fair play from the game itself, the leadership is pitiful. The industry- owners, coaches, present-day players and administrators would not have jobs without the contribution from the “old gladiators”. Where is the DIGNITY AFTER FOOTBALL that these men and their families deserve?
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C) DIGNITY AFTER FOOTBALL.ORG 2009