Former NFL players sue players union

Retirees say active players didn’t have the right to bargain for their benefits

Although the National Football League’s (NFL) lockout officially ended in July when the owners and players agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the league can’t seem to escape litigation. 

Yesterday, a group of retired NFL players sued the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) because they say the players involved in the bargaining during the labor dispute were not in the position to bargain for and agree to retired players’ benefits.

Twenty-eight former NFL players, 23 of whom are Hall of Famers, filed the class action lawsuit, which also names NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith; former player Mike Vrabel, who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs; and current Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as defendants.

The plaintiffs claim that when the NFLPA decertified in March, the defendants lost their authority to negotiate for the terms of the retirees’ benefits. They are seeking a declaration that allows them to alter their benefits outlined in the new CBA.

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