Chiefs lineman joins with Ditka's group to help disabled retirees Print
Written by Admin   
Tuesday, 27 November 2007 11:29
NFL Headline News

 CHICAGO (AP) -Some NFL players will donate part of their paychecks from the league's Dec. 23 games to help needy retired players.
Kansas City Chiefs lineman Kyle Turley said at a news conference to announce the plan Tuesday at Mike Ditka's restaurant that he will donate his entire $25,000 paycheck.
Ditka has been vocal in publicizing the plight of former players who struggle with the effects of lingering physical problems.
``We make a lot of money playing this game and it's because of the guys that played before us,'' Turley said.
Perhaps best known for ripping the helmet off a player who grabbed his teammate's facemask and tossing it downfield while with New Orleans, Turley is the first active player to launch an initiative to help needy former players.
His effort is the latest chapter in a very public and bitter feud between retired players and the NFL Players Association. Ditka and others say the union refuses to award disability benefits to former players. In recent months, they publicized the plight of retired players wiped out financially by the cost of multiple surgeries and injuries that have left them unable to work.
They've told the stories of former players such as Mike Webster, the Hall of Fame center of the Pittsburgh Steelers who died homeless in 2002 after suffering from mental illness widely attributed to head injuries sustained as a player.
The union and the league have defended the disability system. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told a Senate hearing in September that the league is boosting benefits when many companies around the nation are reducing them. And Gene Upshaw, executive director of the players association, has told the Senate that Congress should give the players' union greater authority to approve disability claims.
NFLPA spokesman Carl Francis declined comment on Turley's announcement, saying the union was focused on Tuesday's shooting death of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor.
Turley said reading about the Congressional hearings and in particular the emotional stories about players he admired as a boy prompted him to donate his money and ask his fellow players to do the same.
``Are we going to wait until guys die? Are we going to wait until guys commit suicide before we make a difference and change this thing?'' he asked.
Ditka, who coached the Bears and Saints after a Hall of Fame playing career, has long been critical of the union for concentrating too much on current players and ignoring retirees' health problems. On Tuesday, he warned today's players that their injuries could someday leave them in desperate need of help, just like their predecessors.
Turley, who came back from a career-threatening back injury, also took up that theme.
``If this system doesn't get fixed, no matter how much money you make ... you are a serious surgery away from being broke,'' he said.
Turley also criticized Upshaw for dismissing former players such as Ditka and Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers as ``a bunch of crybabies,'' and criticized the Web site page titled ``The NFLPA Truth Squad: Facts vs. Fiction'' that the union launched to ``correct serious misstatements of fact'' by former players.
``Who is it for another man to say another guy is a liar when he's dealing with pain?'' Turley said.
Turley added he did not know how much money he might raise. But he said he already has talked to as many as 20 players who said they will donate, and that he expected the number to grow when other players receive a letter he is sending out this week.

NFL Team Pages

Top NFL Public Bets

#1 271 Indianapolis Colts 98%
#2 265 Houston Texans 92%
#3 275 Green Bay Packers 85%
#4 263 Miami Dolphins 81%
#5 258 Kansas City Chiefs 80%
#6 259 Seattle Seahawks 78%
#7 273 Oakland Raiders 74%
#8 267 Baltimore Ravens 72%
#9 278 Dallas Cowboys 68%
#10 269 Philadelphia Eagles 67%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NFL Futures

View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.