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NFL Hall of Famers demand health insurance – for themselves only

A group of Pro Football Hall of Famers are threatening a mass boycott of the annual induction ceremony unless all Hall of Famers get health insurance coverage and an annual salary.

In a letter sent to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and Hall of Fame president David Baker, 21 Hall of Fame members – including Joe Namath, Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders – cited themselves as “integral to the creation of the modern NFL, which in 2017 generated $14bn in revenue”.

The letter, which also criticizes Goodell for being overpaid, outlines that the total cost for every Hall of Famer to have health insurance is less than $4m, which is less than that of a 30-second Super Bowl advert.

The group’s demands would only benefit the 318 members of the Hall of Fame and not thousands of other current and former players, who are far more likely to be in need of financial assistance than the enshrinees.

Just hours after the letter was released, Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner said he did not agree for his name to be put on it and that would not be taking part in any boycotts.

“I understand what ALL retired NFL players have given to advance our league and I believe it is extremely important to fight for lifetime benefits for each and every one of them,” he said.