Bears great Richard Dent is among 22 Pro Football Hall of Famers who threatened Tuesday to not return to Canton, Ohio, until they receive a salary and health insurance.
In a letter addressed to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and Pro Football Hall of Fame CEO David Baker, the group of 22, led by former Rams running back Eric Dickerson, outlined their demands.
They cited the salary of the commissioner and the Hall’s expansion plans as proof that the NFL has profits worthy of sharing.
“We write to demand two things: health insurance and an annual salary for all Hall of Famers that includes a share of league revenue,” the letter said.
It claims that every Hall of Famer could be insured for less than $4 million. The letter argues that every player who has been on a MLB roster for one day gets health insurance for life, and those on the roster for six weeks get a lifelong pension.
Dent, a Hall of Fame defensive end, attended Brian Urlacher’s induction ceremony last month.
Both said they wanted to “establish a template for active players” in collective-bargaining negotiations in 2021.
The letter also was signed by Marcus Allen, Mel Blount, Derrick Brooks, Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, 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 and Kurt Warner. Sarah White, the widow of former Eagles and Packers great Reggie White, also placed her signature.
Later, Warner tweeted that his name was “mistakenly attached” to the letter and he had no plans to boycott the Hall. Rice tweeted that he planned to support the Hall and looked forward to attending the events.
Just earlier this month, Dent was part of a lawsuit reinstated by the U.S. appeals court. He claimed, along with Bears quarterback Jim McMahon and others, that the NFL did not warn them about long-term consequences of pain-killers.