I ran across an old news article from 2012 about the concussion lawsuit that over 300 former football players brought against the NFL, the teams, and the helmet manufacturer Riddell in the Huffington Post the other day. The article was focused on Tony Dorsett.
In the article Dorsett was quoted as saying:
“Yeah, I understand you paid me to do this, but still yet, I put my life on the line for you, I put my health on the line. And yet when the time comes, you turn your back on me? That’s not right. That’s not the American way.”
Tony Dorsett put his “life on the line” and his “health on the line” and cannot believe that the NFL would turn its back on him now that he is suffering the fallout of his sacrifice, because that’s not the American way. Apparently Tony Dorsett has not met or talked to any veterans in his life. Had he done so he would know that the best examples for the point he is making – life and health on the line – are not football players, they are veterans. And veterans could have told him decades ago – before he ever even picked up his first football – that the American way (via the U.S. Government) in regard to those who fight for this country’s ideals and liberties is, all too often, not at all honorable. Veterans have to fight their way through never-ending bureaucracies to receive even the most basic of services to which they are entitled.
Veterans never had million dollar contracts or advertising deals like Tony Dorsett and other pro football players – they suffered in foreign lands for little pay all in the name of things like honor, duty, and commitment. The American way for them has been one of broken promises and frustration. It is a travesty and it has been going on for many decades. But they can’t sue the government and efforts geared toward reform always get stuck somewhere mid-level in the monolith that is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sorry to tell you Tony Dorsett, but this is the American way. And until I see veterans getting the help due them, I am going to have a hard time concerning myself with the injustices visited upon pro football players.
Day one thousand five hundred and twenty-two of the new forty – obla di obla da