National Football League Attn: Roger Goodell, Commissioner 345 Park Avenue New York, NY 10017 Dear Commissioner


July 30, 2013

As members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, we write to express our concerns about the NFL’s refusal to provide care for its former players and its continued denial of the link between repeated head impacts and permanent brain damage. While we may be counted as among the greatest to play in the NFL, most former players had short careers and made little money during that time. Some never even played in a game, but were integral parts of practice squads that prepared us for Sunday. We expected to have bad knees or hips; we did not expect the NFL to hide the risks of the longterm health consequences associated with head injuries.

Though the NFL now claims to be better protecting current players from the risks and consequences of head injuries, it is at times difficult to believe, especially as the League continues to evade confirming the link between repeated hits to the head and long-term neurological issues suffered by so many of our football brethren.

Over the past several years, we have seen too many former players commit suicide or pass away after years-long struggles with dementia. Legions of former players suffer short-term memory loss and other neurological issues, and many cannot even remember taking part in some of the NFL’s greatest moments. In the meantime, the NFL publicly touts the “benefits” it provides to former players with brain injuries, while denying these players necessary medical monitoring, long-term care, and security. No one wants to see another generation of players suffer this fate. As former players, we refuse to stand by quietly and watch men who unknowingly sacrificed their health and future to the NFL go without the care they desperately need.

Numerous independent studies illustrate the hardships of many former players concerning neurological diseases and disorders. A government study published last September in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology found that NFL players are four times more likely than the general U.S. population to die from Alzheimer’s or ALS. Similarly, researchers at Boston University discovered in December 15 new cases of chronic brain damage in deceased NFL players. Previously, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) had been found in 18 of the 19 former NFL players whose brains were studied.

Mr. Goodell, we ask you, as the Commissioner of the League, to provide the security and care all former players and their families deserve. We love football, and want to see the

League prosper for years to come. But more than lip service is needed to provide for the players who made the league what it is today, and ensure that the game is safer for future generations. Respectfully,

____________________________________________ Bruce Smith Hall of Fame Class of 2009

____________________________________________ Eric Dickerson Hall of Fame Class of 1999

____________________________________________ Tony Dorsett Hall of Fame Class of 1994

____________________________________________ Floyd Little Hall of Fame Class of 2010

____________________________________________ Dermontti Dawson Hall of Fame Class of 2012

____________________________________________ Melvin Renfro Hall of Fame Class of 1996

____________________________________________ Joe DeLamielleure Hall of Fame Class of 2003

____________________________________________ Chris Doleman Hall of Fame Class of 2012

____________________________________________ John Hannah Hall of Fame Class of 1991

____________________________________________ Rayfield Wright Hall of Fame Class of 2006

____________________________________________ Leroy Kelly Hall of Fame Class of 1994

____________________________________________ Ted Hendricks Hall of Fame Class of 1990

____________________________________________ Randy White Hall of Fame Class of 1994

____________________________________________ Lem Barney Hall of Fame Class of 1992

____________________________________________ Paul Krause Hall of Fame Class of 1998

____________________________________________ Tommy McDonald Hall of Fame Class of 1998

____________________________________________ Roger Wehrli Hall of Fame Class of 2007

____________________________________________ Dave Robinson Hall of Fame Class of 2013