Former 49ers Linebacker Speaks Out About Hall of Famers’ Boycott

LINCOLN -- A group of NFL Hall of Fame players led by former Rams running back Eric Dickerson are considering a boycott of the induction ceremony in order to try and get retirement money and health insurance from the NFL.

"Let's try to take care of everybody. If the Hall of Famers all walked out together and said, 'We want some medical and we want a better retirement for the pre-93,' something would happen," said former 49ers linebacker Dan Bunz.

Bunz, who is 63 years old now, is still a couple of years away from retirement.

Playing in the 70s and 80s means Bunz will get about $3,800 a month from the NFL for his retirement when he turns 65. But he will get nothing when it comes to medical benefits.

"So, let's take care of the guys that made the game," Bunz said. "We're not equipment, you don't just throw us away."

Bunz, like many of the men who played in his era, has legitimate concerns when it comes to his brain and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

He is also critical of the group of Hall of Fame players who are considering a boycott of the induction ceremony for better money and health insurance -- but only for Hall of Fame inductees.

"None of those guys would be in the position they are unless they had great teammates," Bunz said. "Sometimes they were just average guys that killed themselves to get them across the goal line."

49ers Hall of Famer Jerry Rice was, at first, listed to be part of the group but he later issued a statement that distanced himself from what was trying to be accomplished.

The NFL has in recent years put together better retirement plans for players going forward.

But for men like Bunz, who retired in the late 80s, they are strong in their stance that Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league must do a lot more for the players of the past.

"This isn't right," Bunz said. "They're doing a disservice to all the old players, disrespecting us. They should at least come up with something."

The NFL says it has looked into getting lifetime health insurance for all current and former players but the cost is in the billions and the league says it's just not feasible.

The hall of fame group is said to be asking for $300,000 a year for all inductees. That would mean the league would hand out over $95 million annually to those Hall of Famers.