Former NFL Players to Speak About Difficult Life After Football

02/29/2008
By For more information, contact media@uml.edu or 978-934-3224


* M E D I A   A D V I S O R Y *

Injuries, Lingering Physical and Emotional Problems Plague Gridiron Greats


Tuesday, March 4, 2008
7:15 p.m.


WHAT: Former NFL players John Hannah, Andre Tippett, Peter Cronan, Don Hasselbeck and Bruce Laird will be among the panelists in a discussion on the physical and emotional toll professional football takes.

The retirees say they live with long-term physical damage from football, including leg, ankle, hip and knee conditions that often require surgery. In some cases, former NFL players have had limbs amputated or experienced paralysis. Diabetes, obesity and heart disease are also common, as well as depression, Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive disorders from repeated concussions.

The average NFL career is 3.8 years, the shortest in professional sports. Ninety percent of players are forced to work in other jobs after their sports career is over, but the long-term problems resulting from football can make this difficult. The panelists at this program are calling on the NFL and the players’ union to provide financial support.

This forum, presented by Prof. Jeffrey Gerson and UML Politics and Sports, is free and open to the public. The event begins with an introduction by Chancellor Marty Meehan, followed by clips including from the new documentary on the plight of NFL retirees, “Blood Equity.” The panel discussion and a question-and-answer session follow. Panelists will be available after the program for interviews and autographs.

  • John Hannah played for the New England Patriots from 1973 to 1985, and was selected for the Hall of Fame in 1991.
  • Andre Tippett played for the Patriots from 1982 to 1993 and was recently selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2008.
  • Peter Cronan played for the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins between 1977 and 1985.
  • Don Hasselbeck played for the Patriots, Los Angeles Raiders, Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants from 1977 to 1985.
  • Bruce Laird’s career with the Baltimore Colts and San Diego Chargers spanned from 1972 to 1983.

WHERE:  O’Leary Library, Room 222, UML South, 61 Wilder St., Lowell

In the event of snow, please call the University’s cancellation hotline at 978-934-2121. If the University is closed, this event will be canceled.