On May 24, Judge J. Frederick Motz of U.S. District Court in Maryland ruled against former Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Brent Boyd in the latest round of his long-running administrative and legal fight with the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan.
The judge’s opinion can be viewed at http://muchnick.net/boydruling52411.pdf.
This is a miscarriage of justice, turning not on a serious substantive dispute about Boyd’s football-caused mental illness so much as on procedural technicalities about whether his reapplications of previously denied claims established “changed circumstances.” On this blog, I will be publishing more documents from this case file and explaining how it is another chapter of shame for both the National Football League and the NFL Players Association.
More importantly, I will be exhorting the pro football public – media, fans, and sponsors – not to turn their heads away. This does not need to be the last chapter of the Brent Boyd story. Unfortunately, Brent told me yesterday that his attorney, Mark DeBofsky of the Chicago firm Daley DeBofsky & Bryant, does not have the resources to pursue an appeal on a contingency basis (that is, without payment of ongoing fees rather than the hope of recovering them as part of a settlement or judgment). But that does not mean that a fund cannot be set up on Boyd’s behalf to help sustain the work of his legal team, or that other representation cannot be persuaded to join the effort on a contingency or pro bono basis.
Legal fees are not the only type of support Boyd could use. Through this blog, an anonymous benefactor has already stepped forward to order sent to Boyd’s Nevada home a regular supply of high-end Omega 3 supplements, in the hope that these will help alleviate the symptoms of what is almost surely a case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Please follow this blog for further developments. My hope is that we can help build a network of concerned fans who, instead of just sitting around and awaiting the fate of 2011 NFL season, will also choose to do constructive things on behalf of the many men across the country who have entertained us and now find themselves disabled much too young, and abandoned by the $9-billion-a-year league and its players’ union.
Anyone with ideas in any of these areas is invited to email <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
For the full background, see:
‘Dave Duerson Knew Nothing About Concussions and Players’ Best Interests’ – My Exclusive Interview With Ex-Minnesota Viking Brent Boyd
Honoring Dave Duerson – Three Things the NFL, Fans, and Sponsors Must Do
Introducing ALREADY LOCKED OUT: The NFL and NFLPA’s Rejected Disability Claims
NFL Living CTE Victim Brent Boyd: ‘Where’s the Counseling? Where’s the Support?’