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Game action in Pittsburgh during a Pittsburgh Steelers (black/yellow) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (white/red) National Football League game on December 3, 2006. Players depicted include: (Steelers #99) Brett Keisel; (Steelers #51) James Farrior; (Steelers #2
The National Football League's history of denying the sport's devastating physical effects on players, especially the chronic concussions that have destroyed the lives of not just players but their families, is so disgusting:
The NFL’s retirement board awarded disability payments to at least three former players after concluding that football caused their crippling brain injuries — even as the league’s top medical experts for years consistently denied any link between the sport and long-term brain damage.

The board paid at least $2 million in disability benefits to the players in the late 1990s and 2000s, documents obtained in a joint investigation by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” and FRONTLINE show. The approvals were outlined in previously unpublished documents and medical records (pdf) related to the 1999 disability claim of Hall of Fame center Mike Webster.

The board’s conclusion that Webster and other players suffered brain damage from playing in the NFL could be critical evidence in an expanding lawsuit against the league filed in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylania. The lawsuit (pdf), which involves nearly 4,000 former players, alleges that the NFL for years denied the risks of long-term brain damage and “propagated its own industry funded and falsified research to support its position.”

I'm a football fan, but it's troubling when you think of the NFL as an employer that's acted with callous disregard for the health of its employees, shortening their lives appreciably. And the NFL's lockouts of players and officials have just served to remind us that this is first and foremost a business operating to maximize profit at whatever cost to workers.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

  • If you were a Starbucks barista in Massachusetts between 2005 and 2011, you may have some money coming to you. A federal appeals court upheld a $14 million judgment against Starbucks for including shift supervisors in tip pools, which is prohibited by Massachusetts law. With interest, the judgment may grow to $18 million.
  • Sarah Jaffe has a fantastic look at the way Walmart has used a language of Christian values to win the loyalty of its workers and customers, and why, for some workers, that's eroding:
    In 2010, she was one of the associates invited to the Wal-Mart shareholders’ meeting, where she attended presentations on the great things the company said it was doing, for women, or against hunger, while its workers weren’t making enough to pay their bills and were subjected to unpredictable scheduling. She was shocked when an executive wanted to close the meeting with his favorite verse of Scripture: Luke 12:48, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”  

    For her, that moment of disconnect between the Christian values the executives professed to uphold and the reality she experienced at work was the last straw. “Right there I started praying for the Lord to expose these things in Wal-Mart.”

  • Paychecks for janitors at Walter Reed were seriously late and workers didn't know when the paychecks would come. Then, Huffington Post wrote about it, and the workers were suddenly paid.
  • Check out Just Cause Reform.
  • After a long, tense fight, New York Times staff have ratified a new contract.
  • The foreign students exploited by a Hershey contractor in summer 2011 will receive back pay for the work they did and for having been overcharged for housing.
  • Congress passed stronger whistleblower protections for federal workers, though not without having some major provisions blocked by House Republicans.
  • Yes, the National Labor Relations Act applies to non-union workplaces, too ... No, this should not come as a surprise, and yet so many employers seem to be surprised.
  • Hurricane Sandy has created a whole lot of work for some workers involved in the recovery effort. But it's kept others off the job with their workplaces closed—like, for instance, Atlantic City casino workers, whose union is trying to help them:
    Local 54 of UNITE-HERE on Friday opened a Helping Hands Relief Center at St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church on North Mississippi Avenue that will be open every day except Sundays through Nov. 20, union President Bob McDevitt said.

    Between 13,000 and 14,000 workers are members of Local 54, he said.

    “There are people who have not lost anything (from the storm), but they haven’t worked in two weeks,” he said.

  • Nurses beat back concessions at site of Beyonce baby's birth
  • One teen's standardized testing horror story and where it will lead

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 10:55 AM PST.

Also republished by The Wide World of Sports and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Better to be safe and sorry-assed. (0+ / 0-)

    What are their names and on what street do they live-David Crosby-"If I Could Only Remember My Name"

    by IB JOHN on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:00:23 AM PST

  •  I hate the term "Human Resources" (2+ / 0-)

    because "Human" works just fine thank you. People are not commodities.

    Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

    by hazzcon on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:03:38 AM PST

    •  I always use the word person or people eom (0+ / 0-)

      If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ~Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849

      by shigeru on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:08:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The sport has changed over the past 20 years (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, RUKind, ladybug53

    With the use of tackle being replaced by hit and kill. Even at the Pop Warner level. Is It no wonder that crippling injuries have increased?

    If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ~Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849

    by shigeru on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:11:02 AM PST

  •  So why is the NFL still classified as a tax-exempt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    realwischeese, RUKind

    non-profit? Their non-profit cause is doing in-house medical studies?

    "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." Edward R. Murrow

    by temptxan on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:13:27 AM PST

    •  To get around anti-trust laws (0+ / 0-)

      Long live Junior Seau.

      "Good morning, brothers Koch. I see you're doing well. If I had me a shotgun, I'd blow you straight to hell." w/apologies to R. Hunter

      by RUKind on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 12:03:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope; they are not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bronx59

        exempt from anti-trust laws. Baseball yes, football (and all other sports) no.

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 12:52:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dates to the 1961 NFL-AFL merger wrt TV rights (0+ / 0-)

          "... the congressionally created antitrust exemption, dating from 1961, is a specially granted anomaly.  No other business benefits from an antitrust exemption for television negotiations."

          "Good morning, brothers Koch. I see you're doing well. If I had me a shotgun, I'd blow you straight to hell." w/apologies to R. Hunter

          by RUKind on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 02:48:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  True, but they only have that very narrow (0+ / 0-)

            anti-trust exemption. It only applies to their bargaining for television rights--they have no exemptions anywhere else, unlike baseball. People are very definitely allowed to create non-NFL leagues/teams and try to topple the NFL. Remember, the USFL won its lawsuit against the NFL for violating anti-trust laws.

            "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

            by bryduck on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 03:12:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  NFL? Pick a more meaningful figth (0+ / 0-)

    nt

  •  that's because the NFL... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RUKind, BYw

    ...like every other american business sees its workers as interchangeable – and infinitely replaceable – parts.

    United we bargain. Divided we beg.

    by mellowjohn on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:30:58 AM PST

  •  NFL: Who Could Have Imagined... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    realwischeese, mightymouse, RUKind, BYw

    That getting hit in the head or having your brain jostled around would cause brain injuries?

    I mean, seriously? Is there an argument against that I don't understand?

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:32:29 AM PST

  •  Expose the disconnect between Republican "values" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weinerschnauzer

    and all of their policies.

    "For her, that moment of disconnect between the Christian values the executives professed to uphold and the reality she experienced at work was the last straw. “Right there I started praying for the Lord to expose these things in Wal-Mart.”"
    Educating the American electorate, in particular lower income older white voters (a group that I'm thankfully a liberal minority member of), of the discrepancy between the right's rhetoric and the real world consequences of their onerous repeatedly failed policies is paramount.

    In the small southern town where I live there are literally no other people I know who can discuss Science, History, or Macroeconomics.

    No wonder the elites are doing their best to demonize and destroy public education - in addition to wasting no opportunity to extract profits from heretofore unexploited riches, the nearly catatonic state of the average white underclass American is working out quite nicely when more than half of them voted for one of the most notorious vulture capitalists in history campaigning on promises of more Trickledown Economics.  

    Hopefully, demographics will force us to finally learn which side our bread is really buttered on.

         

    "extravagant advantage for the few, ultimately depresses the many." FDR

    by Jim R on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 12:04:59 PM PST

  •  NFL: The coaches are the team (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    The players are the equipment. The equipment - pads and helmets - are accessories. And merchandise advertising.

    "Good morning, brothers Koch. I see you're doing well. If I had me a shotgun, I'd blow you straight to hell." w/apologies to R. Hunter

    by RUKind on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 12:07:50 PM PST

  •  Crash Test Dummies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weinerschnauzer

    I always felt that the best people to make an informed decision on anything was a person who has had some experience in the thing they are going to make the decision about. Maybe it would be a good idea to mandate the NFL's 'decision makers' to show up once a week, for 16 weeks every summer during the off season, at a car safety testing facility and fill in for the crash test dummys for head on collision testing wearing an NFL helmet and no seat belt.
    I bet they would quickly determine that getting your head driven into walls on a regular basis 'just might' have some long term effect. I predict their point of view would change in less time than it takes to put on a helmet.
    It could be an episode of 'Undercover Boss'.

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." Mark Twain

    by Urbee on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 12:59:04 PM PST

  •  Raley's and UFCW (0+ / 0-)

    come to tentative contract agreement, ending 10-day strike days before the Thanksgiving rush.

    "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

    by Cali Scribe on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 01:42:18 PM PST

  •  Football Light (0+ / 0-)

    I am not as hardcore as I used to be.

    You can trust me to be objective, I've been attacked by both sides.

    by Marcellus Shale on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 05:12:00 PM PST

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