Hall of Fame members threaten boycott of inductions
By BARRY WILNER
AP Pro Football Writer
Wednesday, September 19
A group of Pro Football Hall of Famers led by Eric Dickerson is demanding health insurance coverage and a share of NFL revenues or else those former players will boycott the induction ceremonies.
In a letter sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and Hall of Fame President David Baker — and obtained by The Associated Press — 21 Hall of Fame members cited themselves as “integral to the creation of the modern NFL, which in 2017 generated $14 billion in revenue.”
Among the signees were Dickerson, who is listed as chairman of the newly created Hall of Fame Board the group has formed; Jim Brown; Joe Namath; Lawrence Taylor; and Sarah White, the widow of Reggie White.
There were questions, though, about how well-organized the group was. Two players whose names are on the letter said they were not part of the boycott effort. Another name on the list of 22 signees including Sarah White was Carl Ellard, but no one by that name has played professional football. Former Vikings defensive end Carl Eller, however, is a Hall of Famer.
“The time has come for us to be treated as part of a game we’ve given so much to,” the letter states. “Until our demands are met, the Hall of Famers will not attend the annual induction ceremony in Canton. 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.”
The strongly worded letter called out the league for paying Goodell $40 million, saying “there are better uses for that money.” It also criticized Smith for his salary and the lack of a former player on the players’ association executive board. But there have been two former players on that executive board since 2009.
Jerry Rice, whose name is on the letter, said he wasn’t on the Hall of Fame Board. And in a statement on Twitter , the former wide receiver said he plans to support the Hall of Fame and “looks forward to attending the 100th anniversary in 2020.”
Kurt Warner also released a statement on Twitter that said he wasn’t made aware of the letter and said his name was mistakenly put on it. He said he supports the efforts for better benefits for all retired players and doesn’t believe in boycotting the Hall of Fame.
Baker said the Hall seeks to help all players, not just those enshrined in Canton, Ohio.
“Many Hall of Famers have reached out to express their support of the Hall,” he said in a statement.
“While we enshrine Hall of Famers, our mission is to serve every player who helped build this great game. We guard the legacies and seek to serve all players and not just Hall of Famers who we serve every day.”
NFL players have received a pension since the Bert Bell Plan, named after a former league commissioner, was created in 1959. In the 1993 collective bargaining agreement, a 401K plan to which players also could contribute was established, and in 1998 an annuity program was created.
“There have been significant increases in the pension with every collective bargaining agreement in the history of this sport,” said Miki Yaras-Davis, the NFLPA’s senior director of benefits.
“The normal retirement age is 55 for former players, and those players can leave in their pension (funds) and at 65 they have almost a 300 percent increase. This is one of the few defined benefit plans left in the country. It’s a program which isn’t seen much anymore that defines the benefits at a certain age.”
During the 2011 labor dispute and lockout, one of the main issues was establishing a fund for pre-1993 players. In that CBA, a “Legacy Fund” was established, with a $620 million increase in benefits, with team owners contributing out of their share of revenues for the first time. The union and the league have increased pensions three times for former players since 2011.
But the letter calls the Legacy Fund “little more than cynical public relations ploys that fail to help those who desperately need it.”
“The total cost for every Hall of Famer to have health insurance is less than $4 million — less than that of a 30-second Super Bowl ad, or about 3 cents for every $100 the league generates in revenue,” Dickerson’s letter states.
“Paying Hall of Famers an annual salary works out to about 40 cents for every $100 in annual revenue, a figure that will increase dramatically in the near future with legalized gambling.”
The disgruntled former players also took aim at the expansion of the Hall of Fame into a village that Baker has estimated will eventually cost $1 billion. The NFL provides significant funding for the hall, but equally significant costs for the project are funded elsewhere.
Also, the Hall of Fame village plans a player care center called Legend’s Landing that provides independent and assisted living for retired Hall of Famers as well as “members of the NFL’s legends community, along with coaches, officials and administrators,” according to the Hall of Fame’s website. A health care center also is part of the expansion.
The letter’s demands cover the 318 members of the Hall of Fame, but it says it hopes to create “a template for active players in the next round of (labor) negotiations.” Those talks would come in 2021 when the current CBA expires.
Other Hall of Famers listed on the letter are:
Marcus Allen, Mel Blount, Derrick Brooks, Earl Campbell, Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Mike Haynes, Rickey Jackson, Ronnie Lott, Curtis Martin, John Randle, Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith and Jackie Smith.
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Town council revisiting Nike boycott vote after backlash
NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island town council that approved a nonbinding resolution to boycott Nike products will revisit the question because of public backlash.
Town Council President John Beauregard said Wednesday he has called a special meeting for Monday and plans to make a motion to recall the 3-2 vote from earlier this week .
The resolution prompted criticism from the local American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP, whose president called it “political grandstanding.”
Beauregard, a former state trooper, pushed the resolution after Nike used former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign.
He says he believes the resolution “had nothing to do with race” and his views haven’t changed, but says he doesn’t want to drag anyone into his fight that didn’t choose to be in it.
Why women – including feminists – are still attracted to ‘benevolently sexist’ men
Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Iowa State University
Tom R. Kupfer
Marie Curie Research Fellow, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Disclosure statement: The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
If a man offers to help a woman with her heavy suitcase or to parallel park her car, what should she make of the offer?
Is it an innocuous act of courtesy? Or is it a sexist insult to her strength and competence?
Social psychologists who describe this behavior as “benevolent sexism” firmly favor the latter view.
But researchers have also revealed a paradox: Women prefer men who behave in ways that could be described as benevolently sexist over those who don’t.
How could this be?
Some say that women simply fail to see the ways benevolent sexism undermines them because they’re misled by the flattering tone of this brand of kindness. Psychologists have even suggested that benevolent sexism is more harmful than overtly hostile sexism because it is insidious, acting like “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
As social psychologists, we had reservations about these conclusions. Aren’t women sophisticated enough to be able to tell when a man is being patronizing?
Surprisingly no previous research had tested whether women do, in fact, fail to recognize that benevolent sexism can be patronizing and undermining. And given our backgrounds in evolutionary theory, we also wondered if these behaviors were nonetheless attractive because they signaled a potential mate’s willingness to invest resources in a woman and her offspring.
So we conducted a series of studies to further explore women’s attraction to benevolently sexist men.
What does benevolent sexism really signal?
The concept of benevolent sexism was first developed in 1996. The idea’s creators argued that sexism is not always openly hostile. To them, attitudes like “women should be cherished and protected by men” or behaviors like opening car doors for women cast them as less competent and always in need of help. In this way, they argued, benevolent sexism subtly undermines gender equality.
Since then, social psychologists have been busy documenting the pernicious effects that benevolent sexism has on women.
According to studies, women who acquiesce to this behavior tend to become increasingly dependent on men for help. They’re more willing to allow men to tell them what they can and can’t do, are more ambivalent about thinking for themselves, are less ambitious and don’t perform as well at work and on cognitive tests.
Given these documented downsides, why are women still attracted to this behavior?
The answer could lie in what evolutionary biologists call “parental investment theory.”
Whereas men can successfully reproduce by providing a few sex cells, a woman’s reproductive success must be tied to her ability to complete months of gestation and lactation.
During much of human history, a woman’s ability to choose a mate who was able and willing to assist in this process – by providing food or protection from aggressors – would have increased her reproductive success.
Evolution, therefore, shaped female psychology to attend to – and prefer – mates whose characteristics and behaviors reveal the willingness to invest. A prospective mate’s muscular physique (and, today, his big wallet) certainly indicate that he possesses this ability. But opening a car door or offering his coat are signs that he may have the desired disposition.
Women weigh in
In our recently published research, we asked over 700 women, ages ranging from 18 to 73, in five experiments, to read profiles of men who either expressed attitudes or engaged in behaviors that could be described as benevolently sexist, like giving a coat or offering to help with carrying heavy boxes.
We then had the participants rate the man’s attractiveness, willingness to protect, provide and commit, and their likelihood of being patronizing.
Our findings confirmed that women do perceive benevolently sexist men to be more patronizing and more likely to undermine their partners.
But we also found that the women in our studies perceived these men as more attractive, despite the potential pitfalls.
So what made them more attractive to our participants? In their responses, the women in our study rated them as more likely to protect, provide and commit.
We then wondered whether these findings could only really be applied to women who are simply OK with old-fashioned gender roles.
To exclude this possibility, we studied participants’ degree of feminism with a widely used survey that measures feminist attitudes. We had them indicate their level of agreement with statements such as “a woman should not let bearing and rearing children stand in the way of a career if she wants it.”
We found that strong feminists rated men as more patronizing and undermining than traditional women did. But like the other women, they still found these men more attractive; the drawbacks were outweighed by the men’s willingness to invest. It seems that even staunch feminists may prefer a chivalrous mate who picks up the check on a first date or walks closer to the curb on a sidewalk.
In this time of fraught gender relations, our findings may provide reassurance for women who are confused about how to feel towards a man who acts chivalrous, and well-meaning men who wonder whether they should change their behavior towards women.
But several interesting questions remain. Does benevolent sexism always undermine women? It might depend on context. A male being overly helpful to a female co-worker in a patronizing way might hurt her ability to project professional competence. On the other hand, it’s tough to see the harm in helping a woman move heavy furniture in the home.
Understanding these nuances may allow us to reduce the negative effects of benevolent sexism without requiring women to reject the actual good things that can arise from this behavior.
Opinion: Decades-Old Loophole Lets Postal Service Escape the Law
By Ross Marchand
For public safety organizations such as the Buck Creek Fire Department, hosting and getting the word out on fundraisers is key to serving the public. Even a seemingly simple event requires the coordination of vendors and service providers able to follow through on their promises.
In this case, one key provider, the U.S. Postal Service, dropped the ball. The service failed to mail all of the fliers for the event, despite the fire department spending nearly $4,000 in printing and postage costs. According to event organizer Lisa Spitznagle, “Certain people are not getting these fliers and this is years in the making … they are just not getting them delivered and multiple people in the same area.”
If a paper printing company agreed to print fliers for the event, accepted payment, and didn’t follow through on the job, the breach of contract would naturally have legal consequences.
But despite thousands of dollars in lost fundraising money, the fire department — or any group in a similar situation — can’t take the Postal Service to task for breaking delivery promises. Like most of the federal government, the service uses something called “sovereign immunity” to shield itself from legal claims. But unlike most of the government, the Postal Service conducts itself as a business with regular, paying consumers (even using “.com” rather than “.gov” in their web address).
Continuing to shield the service from liability is not only bad for consumers and taxpayers but also bad for the service itself. Without any exposure to the law, America’s mail carrier has little incentive to do better.
As a pseudo-agency of the federal government, the Postal Service can claim sovereign immunity should a consumer try to take them to court. This isn’t always the case; physical damages resulting from a postal vehicle collision (or any federal vehicle) would fall under the “tort” section of the Federal Tort Claims Act. But any sort of negligence, miscarriage, and/or loss of mail is simply not open to legal liability. This goes above and beyond understandable delivery/handling issues, such as weather and infrastructure problems.
When the Postal Service lost a package containing expensive jewelry, watches and baseball cards, an ensuing lawsuit was dropped because, well, the government cannot be sued without its consent. In this particularly bizarre case, a houseguest of the claimant stole the items from his home, and immediately shipped them via the Postal Service. While the service was able to intercept the items, it subsequently lost track of the package, costing the claimant thousands of dollars. Here, especially, the tired refrain of “expensive parcels should be insured” doesn’t hold up.
The service urges consumers to buy indemnity insurance for “security and peace of mind when you send a valuable item through the mail” but insurance covers the value of items lost and neglects additional costs that come with items being delivered late. A late mail piece can mean frayed business dealings, lost credibility, and ruined relationships, which have very real consequences for the hapless sender. Only a legal proceeding can remedy these indirect damages, a recourse that hundreds of millions of postal consumers simply don’t have.
Beyond that, the logic of forcing consumers to rely on insurance in the absence of legal protection is deeply troubling. Despite consumers paying for postage, the Postal Service is essentially telling senders that it’s still their responsibility that packages get from Point A to Point B in a timely manner.
Consumers don’t even have a reliable way of knowing the chances that their mail will reach its destination. The service fails to keep consistent, reliable public records on lost mail, though the Postal Regulatory Commission reported in 2012 that the “lost mail volume is 1.7 percent.”
The service does report on-time percentages for different mail categories, but the results are disappointing. Packages and three-to-five-day first-class mail are on time less than 90 percent of the time (as of fiscal year 2017). And, after an inspector general report last year finding that the Postal Service understated delayed mail by 2 billion pieces, even these figures are hard to trust.
Given declining consumer marks on “recent USPS delivery performance” for three years in a row, the service needs to shore up its credibility. To restore the public’s trust in the service and increase business over the long run, Congress can change the law and expose the agency to negligence claims. By ending the Federal Tort Claims Act’s exception for “negligent transmission,” Congress can do right by consumers and the service itself. The threat of the law, after all, is a powerful motivator to do better.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Ross Marchand is the director of policy for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.
Call for Submissions: The S3 Agency Goes National With “S FREE” Pro Bono Creative Services Program for Startups
Agency Seeks to Award Free Creative Services to Fearless Start-Up Businesses Anywhere in the US
(September 14, 2018, Boonton, NJ) – Calling all fearless start-ups with big dreams and small budgets! The S3 Agency, a leading ad agency known for its work with brands like BMW, Tetley Tea and Wyndham Worldwide, is expanding S FREE – its pro bono program that creates free advertising campaigns. Previously limited to businesses located in New Jersey, S FREE is now open to startups with under $1 million in annual revenues located anywhere in the United States. The caveat? Applicants must be willing to embrace The S3 Agency’s fearlessly creative approach. Eligible applicants can learn details and apply for S FREE at ineedSFREE.com. (Application period closes 10/31/18.)
While S FREE has expanded beyond New Jersey, the core mission remains unchanged: to do good by doing great creative campaigns for deserving companies that are too new or too small to afford them. Since starting S FREE in 2016, The S3 Agency has provided fee-free advertising services to many different types of organizations – including an out-of-home campaign that was recognized with national awards.
“We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to be in a position to give back – and since The S3 Agency serves brands on a national basis, why not take down the borders for S FREE?” said Denise Blasevick, CEO of The S3 Agency. “Today’s environment has yielded so many exciting startups in emerging areas – from AI and the sharing economy to cryptocurrencies, biosciences and more. S FREE removes the budget obstacle to help these startups achieve their vision,” says Denise Blasevick, CEO of The S3 Agency.
The national search for the next S FREE recipient will be open for application from September 14 through October 31, 2018. US-based startups with an annual revenue under $1 million and an unlimited desire to break through can find details and apply for S FREE at www.ineedSFREE.com.
ABOUT THE S3 AGENCY
The S3 Agency in Boonton, NJ is a full-service marketing agency specializing in fearlessly creative advertising, public relations, and social media — for clients such as BMW of North America, Eight O’Clock Coffee, Tetley Tea, and Wyndham Worldwide. Founded in 2001 by New Jersey Advertising Hall of Fame inductees Denise Blasevick and Adam Schnitzler, The S3 Agency is a WBENC-certified woman-owned business, helping clients meet diversity commitments as they satisfy communications goals. For more information about The S3 Agency, please visit theS3agency.com or call 973-257-5533.