Home / Gene Upshaw Must Be Fired As Head Of NFL Players Union

Gene Upshaw Must Be Fired As Head Of NFL Players Union

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“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” Englishman-scholar Lord Acton penned this phrase in 1877, and while the first part of this statement pertains to Upshaw, the second part certainly does not. As head of the NFL player’s union, Upshaw wields absolute power and really hasn’t done too much to protect the long-term interests of those who he serves, and certainly hasn’t done enough to look after the interests of needy, retired NFL old-timers.

Upshaw has been an impediment to the process of implementing a true performance enhancing drug testing program and has pinched pennies when it comes to doling out money to former players who gave up their bodies to build the NFL into a billion dollar business.

Upshaw has done nothing to protect his players from concussions, as he has not insisted that the league make the mouthpiece a mandatory piece of equipment. Despite all the concern displayed over the NFL’s concussion problem, nobody has lifted a finger to take the most basic step and require that the players use this $30 piece of equipment, even though data indicates that the mouthpiece can help reduce the risk of head injuries and concussions from lower jaw impacts.

The latest hubbub revolves around a threat Upshaw made to break the neck of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Joe DeLamiellure because DeLamiellure saw fit to criticize the way Upshaw has treated NFL retirees. Here’s what Upshaw said about DeLamiellure, a vocal critic of the union head’s handling of the financial needs of down-and-out NFLers: "A guy like DeLamielleure says the things he said about me, you think I'm going to invite him to dinner? No. I'm going to break his goddamn neck."

Upshaw has shown himself to be unfit to hold a position of power and authority by virtue of his words and actions over the years. This latest tirade is just another in a long line of inappropriate and unprofessional comments Upshaw has made over the years. Given the current climate in which people have lost their jobs for making bad jokes; Upshaw should be canned for threatening the life of DeLamiellure. Unfortunately, there’s not much of a chance that anything will happen since the NFL’s new conduct policy doesn’t apply to Upshaw.

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About Sal Marinello

  • On the HBO concussion special, Nowinski admits he has white spots on his brain in MRI.
    In his address to the MA brain injury meetings he states, “I got kicked in the chin” also on chronicle. One theory is, His repeated concussions from blows to the jaw have led to the white spots. Vasa spasms are commonly found in boxers, Andre Waters, soldiers and
    are known precursors to Parkinson’s, Alzheimers and brain decease.

    Because of the similarity in chin strap design, Soldiers in Iraq with Multiple IED exposure are developing these Vasa spasms. Ted Johnson recently stated on WEEI in Boston, he does not have these white spots or Vasa spasms. He also said he wore the Maher mouth guard for all of his thirty concussion events. The question is, does this procedure protect against vasa spasms also.

    Tufts is now forming a study to find out. Yet no contact from the NFL for funding, just a grant rejection letter from Gene Upshaw and others. Ira Casson, Vianno were all investigators on the Riddell revolution study program with Pellman. They are deliberately stonewalling the media, ESPN, HBO about what really happened and why
    we no nothing more about preventing concussion than before the studies. No mention of Labyrinthine concussion or the Boxers “Glass Jaw”. Even though its initial study confirmed 70% of concussions originated at the earhole down to the chin strap or TMJ. A study from 1934 on this area of the skull would lead one to the conclusion it should be protected, 2007 and they are still in the dark. I believe it was the basis for Stengers studies at Notre Dame in the 1960’s.

    Tufts is the pioneer of TMJ research and should be consulted on this. The NFL has a perfect opportunity to fund an independent study with them, yet we only get a stonewall and the silent treatment from Goodell and his people. One bright spot is the work of Mike Haynes. He has connected the mouth guard with the commissioner of the Arena football league. The owners, primarily NFL owners, have widely accepted the mouth guard and seem to be in the dark on the intricasies of the concussion committee’s activities. It is Now the official mouth guard of the arena league and, at this point, won’t be present at the Concussion summit in Chicago. Why?

  • sal m

    the fact that the word “mouthpiece” hasn’t been included in any of this discussion about concussion prevention – as far as the nfl and the players union goes – is tragic.

  • RJ

    Er, I don’t think that was a serious death threat, Sal.

  • er, maybe not, but he needs to go. this incident is just another illustration of how unsuitable he is to hold his position. a position that is held by at least a few of the guys that who he is supposed to represent.

  • Michael Moulton

    If these mouthguards are so amazing, why haven’t any players started using them on their own? These guys make millions of dollars a year, if they were concerned about their own health, they can afford a $30 mouthguard!

  • MM,
    70% of the Patriots use this retainer like mouth piece. It is an appliance which achieves an orthopedic posistion which corrects dislodged cartilage. In addition a biomechanic reaction, transfers enegy away from the skullbase and into the soft tissue of the face and neck. The Pats have the lowest concussion rate in the league, you would thing the study is already done. Mandating it is a no brainer. The problem is, they knew about this five years ago, players like Crebet are going to sue and sue big.

  • dom

    erm.. why does it have to be mandatory? These are grown men. I would like to think they can figure this out themselves. If we know it, don’t you think they know it?! geeze…

  • dom

    Besides, I actualy met Gene the other day. And of COURSE I had to bring all the controversy surrounding him up in conversation – he made some very good points in regards to much of it. sad that people spend 1 minute reading or hearing about something, often taken out of context, and then think they can present a full-scale argument.

  • Mike

    Gene Upshaw is a piece of shit and a poor excuse for a human being. I wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire. Absolutely no feelings at all. An absolute fucked-up human. Eat shit and die you cock-sucker!!!

  • Personal Attacks not allowed? Gee that above comment looks like one – well he is dead now – feel better?

    I agree that mandatory isn’t an issue. They can all wear the mouthpiece if they want.