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Old 06-05-2007, 02:52 PM   #1
tony hipchest
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Default Upshaw's Physical Threats Taken Seriously

http://www.charlotte.com/508/story/147647.html

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LABOR LEADER
Upshaw threat taken seriously
DeLamielleure target as NFLPA head says he'll `break his neck'

Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure said Monday he takes as a serious threat comments made about him last week by Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association.

In a story in Friday's editions of the Philadelphia Daily News, Upshaw defended his record for helping retired players and took aim at DeLamielleure, one of his harshest critics who has called for the NFLPA leader's ouster.

"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," Upshaw was quoted as saying by the Daily News.
Upshaw also said he told a group of Hall of Famers last year: "I'm not one to turn the other cheek. You're not going to hit me in the nose and I'm going to sit there and smile."

Upshaw declined to comment when questioned by the Observer in person Saturday at a retired players convention in Atlanta. He also did not respond to e-mailed questions Monday.
Upshaw also said he told a group of Hall of Famers last year: "I'm not one to turn the other cheek. You're not going to hit me in the nose and I'm going to sit there and smile."

Upshaw declined to comment when questioned by the Observer in person Saturday at a retired players convention in Atlanta. He also did not respond to e-mailed questions Monday.

DeLamielleure, a Charlotte resident, said Upshaw's comments were unsettling to his family.

"At first, I was angry," he said. "All the competitiveness comes out in you and I thought, `I'd like to see him try.' But then reality sets in.

"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 has been a persistent critic of Upshaw and the NFLPA, saying they "stink" as advocates for retired players. He and fellow Hall of Famers Mike Ditka and Lem Barney held a pre-Super Bowl news conference in February to air concerns.

Hall of Fame linebacker Sam Huff, formerly of the Washington Redskins, said no one should take Upshaw's comment lightly.

"You can't say something like that," said Huff. "You're threatening a guy's life."

Former Cleveland Browns defensive back Bernie Parrish, a leader in the anti-NFLPA movement among retirees, said of Upshaw: "He's got a lot of money at stake. I don't trust him not to be violent. I have some concern for my friend Joe DeLamielleure."

Dr. Tom Terrill, an expert on labor unions and a University of South Carolina distinguished professor emeritus, said Upshaw's comments were grossly inappropriate.

"Upshaw has been in that position a long time (24 years)," said Terrill, who taught labor history and still serves as a labor arbitrator. "It sounds like he thinks he owns it. This is not a good attitude to have if you want to keep your position.

"Union leaders do this sometimes. They get in positions where they get elected and re-elected and (they think) no one can challenge them, that they can overcome any opposition. It's just not wise to do that."

If Upshaw, a Hall of Fame offensive lineman with the Oakland Raiders, were a current player or a team or a league employee, his comment might be considered a violation of the NFL's new conduct policy. One violation cited in the policy is "any crime involving the use or threat of physical violence to a person or persons."

However, as head of the players association, Upshaw is not subject to discipline under the policy.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, through league spokesman Greg Aiello, declined comment. Goodell is scheduled to speak in Charlotte today at a luncheon honoring Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.

Former Baltimore Colts safety Bruce Laird, who heads the Baltimore chapter of the NFL Retired Players Association, said he was deeply concerned by what Upshaw said and that it sets a poor example for current players.

"What's amazing is with the way the National Football League has had its problems in 2006 and 2007 and the concern about steroids and active players being out of line with drugs or guns, (here's) the executive director of active players threatening another Hall of Famer," said Laird.

"I think as any player, whether you're active or retired, you really have to sit back and go `Do you want this man representing you and the league?' That is the real question."
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Upshaw's Physical Threats Taken Seriously

i heard an interview with Joe DeLamielleure this morning and i dont think this story is going away unless he "jumps" off a bridge wearing cement shoes. this all boils down to the pension plans for the old timers and he is starting a crusade that is gonna really get attention and start growing after this. he is currently trying to contact as many media outlets as possible and he is gonna smear upshaws image the whole way, and make him look like a dangerous gangster. its an interesting strategy im definitely wanting to see how plays out.
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Old 06-05-2007, 03:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Upshaw's Physical Threats Taken Seriously

Upshaw was a great player and I respect him very much in that regard. As the head of the NFLPA, I think he's a slimy P.O.S.
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Old 06-05-2007, 06:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Upshaw's Physical Threats Taken Seriously

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Upshaw was a great player and I respect him very much in that regard. As the head of the NFLPA, I think he's a slimy P.O.S.
of course i dont think upshaw is a danger or gonna start whacking his opponents, but that his critics are going this far as to paint him in this light shows how serious these veterans are about changing the pension plans.

i cant blame them. while punks like pacman are tossing $80,000 on strippers in a night, people who paved the way like webster and gilliam are dying in a practically destitute condition. all these old schoolers like ditka paved the way. sure hes well to do, but today tim ryan (who told DeLamielleure he was 100% behind him) practically scoffed at the $1000/ month they receive as pension. todays players at the age of 55 will be getting about 400K/year. you never hear old school baseball players or nba players bitching about their pensions. as they said, the nfl's plan sucks compared to theirs.
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: Upshaw's Physical Threats Taken Seriously

Upshaw was stupid to say when he said and he deserves every single thing he gets in the backlash of it.
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Upshaw's Physical Threats Taken Seriously

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
of course i dont think upshaw is a danger or gonna start whacking his opponents, but that his critics are going this far as to paint him in this light shows how serious these veterans are about changing the pension plans.

i cant blame them. while punks like pacman are tossing $80,000 on strippers in a night, people who paved the way like webster and gilliam are dying in a practically destitute condition. all these old schoolers like ditka paved the way. sure hes well to do, but today tim ryan (who told DeLamielleure he was 100% behind him) practically scoffed at the $1000/ month they receive as pension. todays players at the age of 55 will be getting about 400K/year. you never hear old school baseball players or nba players bitching about their pensions. as they said, the nfl's plan sucks compared to theirs.
That was kinda my point, Tony - Upshaw himself said that he (paraphrase) "doesn't work for the retired players, only active players." My point remains that he's a scumbag. Yes, the retired players should be taken care of much better than they are and have been, and Upshaw isn't the least bit compassionate about any of them. He sure as hell isn't going to bat for them, and they're his "brethren," so to speak. How low is that?
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Upshaw's Physical Threats Taken Seriously

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Originally Posted by fansince'76 View Post
That was kinda my point, Tony - Upshaw himself said that he (paraphrase) "doesn't work for the retired players, only active players." My point remains that he's a scumbag. Yes, the retired players should be taken care of much better than they are and have been, and Upshaw is a major obstacle in their situation improving. He sure as hell isn't going to bat for them, and they're his "brethren," so to speak. How low is that?
i was building off of your point. scumbag is kinda fitting, the players now trying to turn him into a "hoffa" type of character is kinda extreme but i see them working.

i agree with roethlisBURGHer too. upshaw took the bait. now he will have to deal with the fallout. that may be alot or nothing at all, but i see all the sports websites are starting to put the story in their headlines. its definitely growing legs.
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Upshaw's Physical Threats Taken Seriously

I have no doubt that as a young adult Gene Upshaw's role model for dealing with others was Al Davis.

Upshaw's thuggish comments and practice of abusing those who cannot benefit him are classic traits of Oakland Al.

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Old 06-06-2007, 05:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: Upshaw's Physical Threats Taken Seriously

I already knew Upshaw was a piece of crap. So this doesn't comes off as a surprise.

I'll be royally ticked if this gets swept under the rug. Upshaw deserves whatever criticism he gets.
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Old 06-06-2007, 09:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: Upshaw's Physical Threats Taken Seriously

Upshaw was already on thin ice. This didn't do anything to help his reputation with the rank and file.
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