It seems like hardly a week goes by without hearing another sad story about a former NFL player from the 1970s and earlier. Some have debilitating health problems, and others can barely put enough money together to scrape by. We live in a time in which our athletes are overvalued, but the abuse that old players took for very little pay is troubling (there are enough ex-linemen dropping dead at the age of 50 to see that).
So, it shouldn’t be too much to ask for the millionaires playing in today’s NFL to chip in a small percentage of their salary to help the guys who paved the way for them. In fact, Vikings center Matt Birk sent a letter to all 1,700 players in the league asking them to donate a portion of their check for one game in December to the Gridiron Greats Asssistance Fund, which provides help to ex-players with health and/or financial issues.
So how many decided that it was a worthy cause? About 20.