Back in February, we mentioned how Herb Adderley -- Pro Football Hall of Famer as a Green Bay Packer and former cornerback for Tom Landry's Dallas Cowboys from 1970 to '72 -- and other former pro ballers had brought a federal class-action lawsuit against the National Football League Players Association. Their claim: They, along with some 3,500 other ex-players, are being shorted on royalties the union collects from licensees, among them clothing manufacturers and video-game companies. But compared to today's dust-up between former players and the NFLPA, that ain't nothing.
A few days back, Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure complained about how piss-poor the NFLPA's health-care benefits are for ex-players. DeLamielleure wasn't asking for much -- just some relief, some way to help ease the pain of players who sacrificed their bodies to the game. And for whatever reason, NFLPA Executive Director Gene Upshaw took offense at his comments -- to the point where Upshaw said he was "going to break his...damn neck." That's class -- no other word for it.
Things have gotten so bad between the former players and the NFLPA that the 67-year-old Adderley, part of the Doomsday Defense that led Dallas to a win in Super Bowl VI in January 1972, now refuses to wear his Hall of Fame and Super Bowl rings, he tells The Los Angeles Times this morning. "I feel no allegiance to the NFL," Adderley says. "I'd never be an ambassador for the NFL. I stopped going to different [NFL] functions because I'm embarrassed." His pension check is a meager $176.85 every month. Gene Upshaw makes $4.5 million a year. --Robert Wilonsky