Tuesday, June 07, 2005

This Just Ain't Right!

Dick Waterman Photography has a post about retired sports greats, and their struggle to survive comfortably during their waning years. He references Basketball Hall of Famer George Mikan and Football Hall of Famer Marion Motley.

[...] He [Motley] was telling the interviewer that football players who had ended their careers before a certain year were not included in the league’s pension plan which had recently been enriched greatly through different networks actively bidding for games.

Most of the players were had carried the sport through the 1940s and 1950s and into the television era were physical wrecks with permanently damaged knees and shoulders. They wanted some medical coverage for their injuries and a pension to help them in their final years.[...]

Ya know, if I was a present day sports figure, I'd probably be of the attitude that I didn't owe them too much in a monetary sort of way, either.
[...]Shaquille O’Neal makes about $30 million a year playing for the Miami Heat and probably adds at least that much through product endorsements. When he heard that Mikan had died virtually penniless, O’Neal offered to pay for funeral expenses. He said that he had met Mikan a few times and “He seemed like a nice guy.”[...]

Great gesture, Shaq! Way to go, guy! No, I'm serious here... I think that what Shaq did was good. However, I think that goodness is relative. And I don't want to pick on Shaq personally.

[...] I remembered the greatness of Marion Motley and how demeaning it must have been for him to beg for crumbs that might fall off the plate.

I also remember that they [the football league] listened to his request and then refused to include the early players in the pension plan.

And that ain't right!

(and thanks again to B.L. Ochman at What's Next? for the link)

Tagged as , , , , , , , ,