Former Bears star Richard Dent among group of Hall of Famers demanding health insurance and salary, threaten boycott of inductions


Terrell Owens made headlines by not celebrating his Hall of Fame induction in Canton, instead holding his own ceremony at his alma mater. 

And now, future Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions could be subject to more boycotts.

A group of Hall of Famers, which includes former Bears defensive end Richard Dent, are demanding health insurance and salary that includes a share of league revenues in a letter sent to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

The group outlines the NFL's reported $14 billion in revenue in 2017 and the sacrifices the players made to build the NFL to what is today, while highlighting the health and financial strugges of former players.

"Until our demands are met, the Hall of Famers will not attend the annual induction ceremony in Canton," the letter reads. "It's well-known that the NFL is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020, and while we are proud of our role in building this league, we don't believe 100 years of player exploitation is something to celebrate."

It's unclear if the benefits the group seek is for all players or only Hall of Famers. The group cites a $4 million price tag "for every Hall of Famer to have health insurance." All in all, the letter says it'd cost 43 cents for every $100 in revenue to provide Hall of Famers an annual salary and health insurance, but does not provide a figure for all former players.

The group also draws comparisons between NFL Hall of Famers and former MLB players, citing health insurance for life and lifelong pensions for players who were on a roster for just 43 days.

Goodell's $40 million a year salary and construction of a "Hall of Fame Village" costing $1 billion were used as examples of the NFL prioritizing money for other things while taking a hardline stance against players in negotiations.

The letter is signed by a newly-formed Hall of Fame Board, chaired by Eric Dickerson. Dent signed as a member of the board, which includes a veritable who's who of the game. Others to sign were Mel Blount, Derrick Brooks, Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, Carl Ellard, Marshall Faulk, Mike Haynes, Rickey Jackson, Ronnie Lott, Curtis Martin, Joe Namath, John Randle, Jerry Rice, Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, Jackie Smith, Lawrence Taylor, Kurt Warner, and Reggie White's widow, Sarah White. 

Contact Us