Group of Pro Football Hall of Famers to Boycott Ceremony over Salary, Benefits

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2018

Hall of Fame Board Chairman Eric Dickerson
Hall of Fame Board Chairman Eric DickersonCindy Ord/Getty Images

Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame are threatening to boycott future induction ceremonies unless their demands are met.

A group of Hall of Famers sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and Pro Football Hall of Fame President C. David Baker to inform them they would not make the trip to Canton anymore unless they were given health insurance and an annual salary that includes a share of the league's revenue, via ESPN's Arash Markazi:

The following signed off: Eric Dickerson, Marcus Allen, Mel Blount, Derrick Brooks, Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, Richard Dent, Carl Eller, Marshall Faulk, Mike Haynes, Rickey Jackson, Ronnie Lott, Curtis Martin, Joe Namath, John Randle, Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, Jackie Smith, Lawrence Taylor, Kurt Warner and Sarah White (Reggie White's widow).

The letter cites Major League Baseball in support of their demands. Any player who appeared on an MLB roster for at least one day is entitled to health insurance for life. And any player who accrues 43 days of service time is granted a lifelong pension.

According to the letter, providing health insurance for every current Hall of Famer would cost the league less than $4 million.

The NFL legends also called out Goodell's $40 million annual salary while noting many ex-players are dealing with a number of health-related issues during their post-football life. This comes as the NFL has spent years facing a billion-dollar lawsuit over concussions.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame was at the center of controversy last month when Terrell Owens decided to protest the official ceremony in Canton and give his induction speech at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

While the induction ceremonies are no longer about those who are already in the Hall of Fame, it would be a big storyline moving forward if those legends were not in attendance to welcome their fellow Hall of Famers into the exclusive fraternity.

The NFL will also be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019.

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