Hall of Fame lineman Joe DeLamielleure is on a campaign against NFL union head Gene Upshaw. DeLamielleure is voicing what he feels is the opinion of many retired NFL players — that the NFL pension plan sucks. DeLamielleure says his daily goal is to get Upshaw fired (sounds quite fulfilling). Anywhoo, check out what Upshaw told the Philadelphia Daily News in response:
“A guy like DeLamielleure says the things he said about me; you think I’m going to invite him to dinner? No. I’m going to break his . . . damn neck.”
DeLamielleure certainly isn’t the first player to complain about the crappy NFL pension plan, but he’s definitely one of the loudest. And after reading the aforementioned comments made by Upshaw, DeLamielleure says he fears for his life:
“My wife was petrified. We grew up in Detroit. You know what unions are. You hear about it. She goes, ‘Hey, this guy is a head of a union, a powerful union, and [when] he makes a threat like that, you’d better take it serious.’
“I’m not afraid of Upshaw, but he has the means to do what he said.”
DeLamielleure certainly is taking this seriously, and it’s probably for his benefit. He should be able to ride this publicity and bring even more attention to the issue. But I’ll just come out and say what I feel, and what I presume many of you feel. These guys are football players — star professional athletes. Do we view them in the same light that we do a coal miners union? Are you really concerned about the pension plans for people privileged enough to have played in the NFL? I don’t think so.
And if you think DeLamielleure is faking it when he says he fears for his life, listen to this interview he gave on WGR in Buffalo, and you’ll find out he’s dead serious.