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George Martin, Director Of NFL Alumni: De Smith Treats Alums As 'Afterthought'

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The NFL's now-decertified players union has promised not to overlook the needs of retired players in its current labor war against the league. George Martin, the director of the NFL Alumni Association, would like believe it's serious.


He just can't be sure because NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith won't return his calls.


"It's disconcerting because, yet again NFL alumni, although we appear to be in the discussion, we're still treated as if we're second-class citizens or an afterthought," Martin told the Daily News Monday. "We definitely feel there's a moral imperative for those of us who have paid such an extraordinarily high price to help build this industry to be in the discussion."


Martin, the former Giants defensive end, said he's been trying to arrange a meeting with Smith since he was elected to his current position with the NFL Alumni Association nearly a year and a half ago. Last week, he even got three congressmen - including former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) - to send a letter to Smith imploring him to sit down with the NFLAA.


Smith's response wasn't exactly what Martin had envisioned. He was invited to the union's meeting in Marco Island, Fla., this week, but wasn't promised a meeting with Smith. He also first had to fill out a lengthy and "insulting" questionnaire detailing his relationship and dealings with the NFL.


It made the 14-year veteran player wonder if the union believes he's some sort of owners' spy.


"To me it was a bit insulting," he said. "Here's a guy who played 14 years in the NFL, a 10-year veteran as a player representative, and was the president of the NFLPA for two years. Now my loyalty and allegiance is being called into question before I can come and address the very organization I spent 14 years officially supporting?"


Martin says he believes the NFLPA thinks his association is "a pawn of the league" - an assertion he said is "asinine" (the NFLPA did not respond to a request for comment). He has, however, developed a much better relationship with the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell, who Martin said had promised in writing that benefits for retired players won't be disrupted during the current NFL lockout.


His hope is that those "woefully inadequate" benefits will improve with an agreement. He was encouraged to see that the NFL and NFLPA were discussing a rookie wage scale that would send "significant revenues" towards retired players' benefits.


That would be a start, Martin said, but there are more needs for retired players that need to be addressed. All he wants is to meet with Smith to let him know what they are.


"I think it's almost a travesty to say that you can spend the days of your youth incurring traumatic brain injuries, and yet we can't sit down and have those dialogues specifically with the individuals who represent us in those discussions," Martin said. "It will be disappointing if we do not have a voice in how those benefits can be constructed."












there exists a line, and dissing george martin is one of those acts which crosses said line.

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Just one more reason why I think today's players are mostly douchebags, and I couldn't give a shit what happens to the NFL at this point.


Who the fuck is DeMaurice Smith anyway?....he couldn't carry George Martin's jock.


George Martin is the fucking MAN.

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