View Full Version : After Gene Upshaw died, union paid his widow $15 million

05-05-2011, 08:16 AM
And this is why the NFLPA says they existed........to benefit and protect their players...........select players. Don't know if this is more sad or more sorry.

When former NFL Players’ Association head Gene Upshaw died in 2008, the union paid his widow $15 million in deferred compensation. That money became the focal point of a legal battle between Upshaw’s widow and his son with his first wife, and it also has some former union members crying foul.

“Wherever Gene is, he should be ashamed of himself and his family should be ashamed for taking that money,” former Redskins and Colts linebacker Bob Grant, one of the former players suing the NFLPA over licensing money, told the Washington Post. “We have great players from the past who played 10 years or more collecting no more than $200 per month.”

The suit between Upshaw’s widow and his son was settled just before it was scheduled to go to trial this week, but the suit brought back into focus what has been a longtime criticism of Upshaw’s leadership of the union: He took too much pay himself, while doing too little for retired players.

“There’s no other union leader in this country who was compensated at the same rate as he was compensated,” former Browns defensive back Bernie Parrish, a plaintiff in a previous class-action suit against the union’s licensing arm, told the Post.

During his time as head of the NFL players’ union, Upshaw was consistently the highest-paid head of any sports union. He made $6.7 million in 2006.link (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/05/04/after-gene-upshaw-died-union-paid-his-widow-15-million/)

05-05-2011, 08:30 AM
I understand why unions exist, and there is no denying that they have helped labor workers in the past, but in today's game they are just greedy bastards.

But I do agree that the $15 million could be better used on ex players and not Gene's widows trust fund.

05-05-2011, 08:50 AM
Pffffffffft!!! I've never been afraid to say, EFFFFFF the unions!

Ole Miss Texan
05-05-2011, 08:57 AM
I think people need to be aware of what deferred compensation is. This is compensation that was earned by Upshaw during his 25 years history as Executive Directer, and instead of receiving all money during that time a portion is deemed deferred compensation. Some of this could be related to retirement accounts.

With that said, he was making a ridiculous amount of money and I think the players are completely warranted in feeling cheated.

Edit - Let's be clear here, it's not the $15MM that was paid to his widow that's the real issue. That's not a lump sum they came up with and said "here". The real issue is that he was earning an incredible amount of money during his tenure with the NFLPA that led to this deferred compensation. He "earned" this money in the past and I think we all agree that's completely not right.