CHICAGO (AP) -Mike Ditka won't be in Canton, Ohio, for Saturday's Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony and won't attend another until the NFL and the players' union improve their treatment of disabled players.
``The system is flawed and when they fix the system I'll go back,'' the former Chicago Bears coach and player told The Associated Press on Friday.
Ditka said his beef isn't with the pension system, but with the scarcity of disability payments. League officials have said 317 players collect disability totaling about $20 million a year.
Ditka said he's proud to be a Hall of Famer and congratulates the new inductees, but prior commitments are keeping him away from the Hall of Fame event.
``I'm in the restaurant business. I'm busy,'' he said. ``They don't need me anyway.''
In June, a group of former players testified in Congress about their bouts with multiple surgeries, dementia and homelessness, all while trying to fight through the red tape of the National Football League and the NFL Players Association's disability system.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and players' union head Gene Upshaw met with nearly a dozen former players last month to discuss a new joint effort to look into disability pay and health care for retirees.

Recent NFL Discussions

2016 NFL Draft Props on Thu, Apr 2016 by Blade
NFL Draft Preview on Thu, Apr 2016 by Blade
Test on Thu, Apr 2016 by Blade
CG releases Divisional Odds on Wed, Mar 2016 by Blade

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Lockette retiring from Seahawks The Seattle Seahawks are losing another skill-position player from last year’s team as receiver Ricardo Lockette is expected to announce his retirement...
Thumbnail Dolphins securing the D-Line The Miami Dolphins are trying to make a push for the playoffs and they aided that on Saturday by signing Cameron Wake to a two-year...
Thumbnail Updated Super Bowl LI Odds The 2016 NFL Draft has now concluded. How did the draft impact the odds to win the Super Bowl next season?
Thumbnail Larmey Tunsil NFL Draft Prediction Once considered the top prospect in this year's class, how far will Larmey Tunsil fall in the first round of tonight's 2016 NFL Draft?
Thumbnail Myles Jack NFL Draft Prediction Will UCLA linebacker Myles Jack drop out of the top 10 tonight when the 2016 NFL Draft commences at 8:00PM ET?
More inNFL Articles  

NFL Team Pages