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Dear Friends:

We're about to embark on an important mission to get your disability rights restored, starting with blocking the deductions from your checks.  In order to succeed we need to approach this with the precision of a military operation or a Super Bowl caliber football team. 

 
For all of the anguish, you've endured over the past week or so you've also had a lucky break that you don't know about yet.  Some powerful people want to see your benefits restored and the NFL held accountable, and have enlisted my help because of my research and familiarity with the disability plan and other NFL litigation.   Your benefactors must remain anonymous for now, but I can assure you that they're top tier and I was humbled when approached and asked to be a part of this.

Working together, using this framework, we will become organized, resourced, and more powerful in order to together expose and improve systemic injustices that undermine the most vulnerable players.

Elements of a Successful Campaign:

Preparation
 
No one goes on the field unless he's mastered the playbook and soldiers aren't shipped off to fight in foreign lands without basic combat training.  Today we start Phase I of our plan and near the end of this letter, you'll find forms with which you can volunteer for the various tasks that need to be completed before the assault is launched.. 

Allies
Essentially what we'll be doing now is gathering the components we'll be putting to use a little later.  First, we will need to identify prominent allies.  This would include current players.  I've started a list of some players who've tweeted support for disabled retirees.  Other potential allies would include celebrities. social media influencers, and trustworthy media with whom you already have a relationship.  I'll elaborate more on this later.

Sponsors
Second, we need to identify the NFL's important sponsors and advertisers.  Nothing makes the league jump more than the thought of losing big-time money over a PR nightmare.  There is a form link near the end of the letter to sign up to help research this.

Media
Third, we need to get a pool of folks who are willing to speak with the media when the time is appropriate.  There's also a form link for this that will aid us in this essential part of our campaign.  I'd like to encourage as many folks as possible to fill this out and be prepared to discuss the impact of what the NFL is doing.  It's important that this effort is coordinated to go off like clockwork in order to harness the news cycle to our best advantage. 

To illustrate, a few years ago I attempted something similar related to the concussion settlement.  I sent a hand full of people to the New York Times, others to Washington Post, and others to various other media platforms.  Unfortunately, that plan fell apart because the various players and wives decided to take it upon themselves to talk to the person I referred them to, and then decided to talk to some of the other media platforms as well.  I had reporters ready to shoot me because they had to rip up the stories they'd worked on because another reporter beat them to press with the same people featured in their stories.  As a result, some didn't report at all and many player stories were lost because everyone wanted to be the New York Times feature. The reporters were hesitant to do further reporting and it's taken some time to mend the relationships that were strained when people went rogue.  I sometimes wonder if things would have been different for those suffering from dementia who submit settlement claims if the media push had gone off as planned.

Discipline
 
The reason the plan I just described fell apart was that the "soldiers" lacked discipline.  To relate this to a football analogy, not every person on the team can be a quarterback.  No team would have success without an effective offensive line, and some running backs, receivers and tight ends that know their routes.  The same principle holds true for defense with each player fixed on his assignment.  That applies here as well.  Teamwork and sticking to the routes that are assigned will give us the best chance of winning.  To do otherwise results in chaos and a sure loss.  I think everyone can agree that the stakes are far too high to take that risk.

Strategy vs. Tactics
 
Strategy is the mental part of warfare that is often overlooked, whereas tactics comprise physical execution of the plan.  Tactics without strategy would be like going into a game with no coach, no playbook and each player just winging it.  Gaining a tactical advantage requires implementing a strategy that has been carefully planned.  Taking the offense is more strategic than having to play defense and react to the opponent's moves.  We want them to be forced to react to ours.  In order to achieve this, we'll need the following components. 

The Element of Surprise
 
Many victories have been achieved in battle when a weaker army catches the stronger army off-guard.  I don't think anyone doubts the might of the NFL, much less the combined might of the NFL and NFLPA. So we need to lull them into a sense of complacency and let them think we've mostly given up.  The NFL is the proverbial playground bully accustomed to almost everyone backing down or submitting to them in fear.  We want them to continue to think so.  To accomplish this we need to let them think they won again,  At the appropriate time we'll strike from out of nowhere when their guard is down and they're least expecting us.  

Security
 
The military and government have various levels of security clearance and for good reason.  If the enemy should acquire a force's battleplan the element of surprise is off the table and they have time to counter every move.  Imagine the advantage a football team would have if they had access to their opponent's playbookUnfortunately, the NFL has spies and sympathizers at every turn.  Loose lips sink ships and because of this, I can't be as transparent as I'd like to be. I think just about everyone here is adversely impacted by the changes to disability so we can't be too careful  The stakes are too high, therefore I'll only be unfolding one element of our plan at a time.
 
Please do not post ANYTHING discussed here to ANY form of social media, including the NFL Women's Facebook pagePlease do not forward this email.  We're the SEAL team.  There will be time, later on, to bring in allies and infantry. Communications should be conducted one-on-one to maintain the viability of what we seek to accomplish.  Be careful who you discuss our plans with.  I think generally those who have stated they'll be impacted should have a genuine interest in succeeding.    We need to preserve the element of surprise until we are fully prepared and at full strength.  This will also give our benefactors time to complete their work as well.
 
It may seem that I'm coming across as bossy, but try to keep in mind I'm only the lieutenant or quarterback tasked with making sure the gameplan is carried out.  I plan to do my job, and as such anyone known to breach security will be removed from the group with no notice so please be careful about what you say and who you talk to.  
 
Note:  It's fine to tweet but not fine to tweet about taking action.  Try to avoid tagging people outside the retired community to try to draw their attention.  Attention spans are short so we don't want people growing numb to this before we're ready to go full-out.  This is the time for you to pick up one (or more) of the assignments and also get some rest. It's been a stressful couple of weeks.  Give yourselves a bit of a breather.  Try to recharge your batteries so you'll be at optimum strength when it's time to put our plans into action.  Along the same lines, I'm going to write on some other topics and appear to have moved on.  Just know that it's a ruse.  I haven't.

Assignments
 
The links below direct you the assignments that must be completed for Phase 1.  Please choose one or more that you can complete in a week's time and also strongly consider placing yourself in the media pool.  If you take on an assignment that you won't be able to complete, please notify me as quickly as possible by replying to this email or shooting an email to me at defendersheilla@gmail.com, or DM me on Twitter at @SheillaDingus.
Media Pool
While all the assignments are very important, this one may be the most important of all.  I'd like to encourage as many of you as possible to enter the media pool.  Having information of players and families willing to speak to the media readily available will greatly aid us in exposing what the NFL and NFLPA have done, and will help us to do so in a timely and efficient manner. If you're willing to help in this way please click below.
Join the Media Pool
Active Player Allies
We need volunteers to comb the social media accounts of current players for those sympathetic to the disabled regarding the cuts to benefits.  We need to check the rosters of each team and then look for their social media accounts, and especially their posts from around the end of February until the present.  Make a list of players who have shown interest in retired players and a separate list of players who have publicly opposed the CBA. If you're willing to review the social profiles of one or more teams, please click below.  Also, let us know if you have close ties with any active players you believe are sympathetic to the hardships imposed by disability cuts.

 
I'll help identify active player allies.
Other Allies
The people we want to identify here are former players with large social media followings, especially those you are personally acquainted with. Other allies might be celebrities that you may know personally. Also be on the lookout for social media influencers--people with large followings on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  We don't need to contact these folks yet, so all you'll need to do at this point is make a list and email it to me.
I'll help identifiy other allies.
NFL Sponsors and Affiliates

This is a VERY IMPORTANT facet of our strategy. Think of the NFL's sponsors and affiliates as weapons in our arsenal. We need volunteers to scour the internet and locate as many sponsors, advertisers, and organizations the NFL (and NFLPA) are linked to as possible. A few that quickly come to mind are Nike (uniforms), Pepsi, Anheuser Busch, and Gillette are large advertisers, but there are many more.

You can use Google searches to help you locate them. Check YouTube and write down the companies that bought Super Bowl ads. There are also organizations (women/domestic violence, social justice etc). Try to identify who may receive donations from the NFL. It would be huge if we can at the right time get some of these organizations to publicly rebuke and reject the NFLas some of the Sackler family's former beneficiaries did when information came out about how the Sackers drove the opioid epidemic, or as with Robert Kraft after he was caught at Orchids of Asia.  For this mission, you'll need to make a list of your findings and email it to me at defendersheilla@gmail.com.

I'll help identify NFL sponsors and affliates.
We have an amazing opportunity to turn this tragedy into a triumph and force those responsible to accountability.  While life doesn't hand us any guarantees, I believe strongly this coalition and a concerted strategy is the only way to success.  So let's play this smart, discipline ourselves to be patient and stick to the playbook.  As I said, we're the SEAL team, the elite special forces unit who will perform much of our vital mission covertly.  I hope you're with us.  If you're not I ask that you use the link under my signature to unsubscribe.

Best of luck in your assignments.  There is much at stake but I have every confidence we can do this together! 
Best regards,

Sheilla
Copyright © 2020 Advocacy for Fairness in Sports, All rights reserved.


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