Ex-player says NFL wants retired players to die off
Former Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers tight end and wide receiver Gary Knafelc spent ten seasons in the NFL. The 81 year old Knafelc was a public address announcer at Lambeau Field and is a part of the team’s Hall of Fame. With a number of former NFL players suing the league due to their health problems, Knafelc says the NFL only wants retired players to do one thing, die.
“We don’t have a voice, and I really believe the reason that we don’t have a voice is that they’re hoping that if we keep dying off at the rate we are, we’ll be all dead and they won’t have to worry about anything,” he said. “I’m not kidding at all. No, I’m very serious about that.”
Knafelc believes that players from his era that have health problems are viewed as a thorn in the NFL’s side.
Knafelc also added that he played in an era before the league had a union. He also believes the current union does not care about past players from his time.
“The NFL Players Association has to step up and protect us, and they don’t do that,” he said. “All they care about is the current players and the guys that played after 1970. The ones that played prior to that, they’ve kind of just forgotten entirely.”
Despite feeling like the league does not care if he is healthy or not, Knafelc still says he does not regret playing football.
“Dumb as I am,” he said. “I’d do it again for the same money if I could.”