Dear Friends,
Last week we launched our offensive to regain the disability benefits stolen in the newly ratified 2020 CBA.  If you are new to the group or did not receive the FIRST NEWSLETTER, it is imperative that you read it and familiarize yourself with our initial objectives.

There should be no doubt at this point that the NFL, NFLPA, Legends, and even Alumni Associations have found disabled players inconvenient and disposable.  The NFLPA claims the disability reductions were non-negotiable just like the 17th game for active players but there was another CBA in place for another year.  Both the NFL and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith claim the NFL had made its best offer and would do no further negotiations.  Pure and simple this was a lie.  The NFL utilizes some of the top law firms for its outside counsel and Smith, has worked with two Big-Law Firms, Patton Boggs and Latham.  They know the law and knew the other would have legal recourse if one of the parties failed to bargain in good faith as directed by the Labor-Management Relations Act.  They were counting on players being ignorant of the law and falling for the trickery, boosted by numerous media platforms.  Eventually, as you know, their tactics succeeded in narrowly pushing the disastrous CBA through.

Former Seahawks/Broncos/Chargers and current Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung, a member of the Executive Committee, filed a very troubling complaint with the National Labor Relations Board.  He stated that NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith resorted to harassment and intimidation against him and other union members who opposed the deal.  He said that Smith obstructed and blocked certain Executive Committee member from the negotiations, which he pointed out is an EC member's fiduciary duty. Smith went so far as to threaten Okung, a vocal supporter of retired players, with criminal charges and even used the law firm Winston Strawn, to further intimidate Okung and foil his planned candidacy for NFLPA President.  When the CBA was released many players voiced opposition and quite a few voiced support for disabled retirees.  When an initial EC vote was taken the EC rejected the CBA 6-5.  After the NFL agreed to remove the cap on game 17 pay, another vote was taken and this time it was 7-4 against.  In violation of the NFLPA Constitution, Smith put it before player reps for a vote without the EC recommendation.  They approved it by a narrow margin and Smith sent it to the membership where it passed by only 60 votes aided by a national emergency as the coronavirus went pandemic.

Despite being abandoned and betrayed by the de facto dictator DeMaurice Smith led NFLPA, we are fortunate to have some powerful people who wish to help.

We cannot afford to blow this opportunity because it is probably the only shot we have of rolling back the changes to disability and securing your financial stability.  As such, I strongly urge you to familiarize yourself with Phase 1 of Operation DUMBO (Disability Under Massive Breakdown Offensive). 
Please Read---------Phase 1 Operation DUMBO---------Please Read
To help everyone in our group to be best prepared for the journey ahead we've appointed Team Leaders to aid you and to prod if necessary to ensure that our bases are covered and the work we need to put in to maximize our chances of success is done.
While anyone in our group is free to seek support from any Team Leader, our ladies will be working primarily with other wives while our men focus on aiding fellow retired players.

Kelly Majkowski email: Twitter: @KMajik7 
Kelly is spearheading our search for allies, especially active players who have shown some solidarity with disabled retired players.  We need ladies in our group to "adopt" a NFL team or two, pull the roster and check the social media accounts of players  to find out two things.  (1) Did they show support for the disabled guys whose benefits the CBA guts, and (2) Did they vote NO on the CBA?  Kelly will be making an effort to reach the women in our group to recruit some volunteers for the project.  I hope you'll consider giving her a hand.  It's a big project for just a couple of people but can be completed pretty quickly with many hands.

Roxanne Gordon  email:  Twitter:  @RoxyGordon16 

We realize what a stressful time of uncertainty this is.  Coronavirus has interrupted our lives in unprecedented ways compounded with the threat of slashes to disability,  along with the normal demands of husbands, and family.  In times like these support groups are very important for venting frustrations and sharing with others similarly situated.  Roxanne will be the main/first contact for the ladies in our group.  She is in the process of setting up a secret, private Facebook page just for the wives who are dealing with the disability cuts.  She also said that she'd like to do conference calls from time to time for that human touch.  She's a wealth of information on medical treatments and therapies for TBI and quite knowledgeable on the concussion settlement and disability.  Over the next week or so Roxanne will be reaching out to as many ladies as she can.  If you have questions or just need a friendly ear, don't hesitate to reach out to her as well.

Antoinette Kelly  email:
Antoinette is a digital expert and will be assisting Roxanne as a moderator on the women's facebook group.  If you are new to social media or haven't tried it yet, Antonette can help you get off to a good start.

Dawn Neufeld  email:  Twitter:  @DawnNeufeld
Dawn will be contacting ladies in our group and encouraging you to share your stories.  This is one of the most important aspects of our campaign so if you'd like to share what these disability cuts will do to your family, and/or talk about the realities of TBI, please feel free to reach out to her.  As an actress and attorney Dawn has a great deal of experience in this area and can help you to feel more comfortable in educating people as to the realities of the NFL and in doing so help to win back the benefits the NFL and NFLPA seek to steal from you. You can also jump into the media pool by clicking here.  

Scott Shanle  email:  Twitter:  @scottshanle
Scott was a 10-year linebacker for the New Orleans Saints and Super Bowl XLIV Champion.  He will be reaching out to the men in our group to inform you of some ways you can help our cause with the goal of restoring the disability benefits the league and union wish to steal.  Scott will be speaking with you about influential contacts, media and more.  He's very knowledgeable as to the facts of the current situation that has been thrust upon retirees and like most of you, he's also been impacted.  if you have questions, Scott is available to provide answers and guidance.

Jay Foreman  email:  Twitter:  @foreman5644 
Jay rounds out our cast of team leaders. Jay is a 2nd generation NFLer and 8-year linebacker for the Bills, Texans, Giants, and 49ers.  unfortunately, his participation will be delayed or limited due to caring for his father in a time of illness.  We wish Chuck Foreman a full and quick recovery and ask that our group keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers. 
I'd like to thank all who've volunteered to be team leaders.  This is a vital role in our quest and I ask our group to support them and consider taking an active role in our efforts to reverse the damage the CBA has threatened against you and your families   Together we are strong.
The work of our team leaders will enable me to continue my work of contributing information and evidence to support our fight.  I've recently obtained some documents that I hope will be useful in reinforcing our case, but combing through them for the nuggets that will build and solidify it is time-consuming. I also need to resume writing and reporting on the website and producing our other newsletters.  By the way, you've all been subscribed to our regular Retired NFL newsletter in addition to this one for our CBA action task force. Allowing me to focus exclusively on these tasks will enable me to complete them much sooner than allowing myself to be spread too thin, and falling behind in essential work.  I ask for your patience and understanding as I temporarily shift to a somewhat less interactive role in order to concentrate on these tasks and coordination with our benefactors.
At present, I don't have a specific time frame for our transition to Phase II, however, the levels of participation in the elements outlined in our first newsletter, and the speed at which we're able to complete these tasks will have an impact on how quickly we're able to move forward.  As before, I remind you to avoid any social media discussion of our plans with the exception of the closed group that Roxanne and Antoinette are putting together.  If our men are interested in something similar please let Scott know and we'll do our best to create a men's forum as well.

In closing, I'd like to remind everyone that we are taking very positive steps to reverse the damage imposed by the new CBA, and ask that you use the next couple of weeks to try to refresh your bodies and minds for the work ahead.  We can only control what we can, so let's try to put away any negative thoughts and focus on teamwork and a winning mindset.  Let's embrace the wisdom of Star Trek's Captain Jean Luc Picard, because.  I truly believe that there is a way out of every box, and a solution to every puzzle and I strongly feel that is the path we're pursuing.
Best regards,

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