Initially, when the debate first gained headlines, we were against the NFLPA being responsible for standing up for more inclusive pensions for former players.
We felt that it was a bunch of old guys who were essentially a bit miffed that they weren't getting a piece of what had become a multi-billion dollar pie.
But, recent events have changed our mind.
Players that suffer from residual debilitating effects of their NFL careers must be supplied with proper care and must be provided for.
Between Aug. 1, 2006, and Sept. 13, Ahanotu repeatedly sent text messages to her cell phone threatening her life, a Sheriff's affidavit said. Also, records say, he repeatedly went to her home and maliciously damaged her property.
Sounds like something we have grown accustomed to reading about. Athlete acting socially irresponsibly, making bad decisions and ending up on the wrong side of the law.
But is there more to the story?
On July 30, Tampa Fire Rescue officers involuntarily committed Ahanotu for mental evaluation under the Baker Act after Hector Nieves, Magellan Entertainment's director of operations, called police, records show. Nieves, who had received suicidal text messages from Ahanotu, told paramedics his friend was depressed because his children's mother was suing him for full custody. Emergency workers forced their way into Ahanotu's home and found him leaning on the kitchen counter, surrounded by an empty vodka bottle and boxes of over-the counter medicines. Ahanotu, who last played for the Bucs in 2004, grew verbally belligerent, and officers handcuffed him to a stretcher for his safety, according to police records. He told police he swallowed some pills and drank because he was depressed.
Again, sounds like personal problems and bad decisions.
However,the reality to this unfortunate situation is that the NFL is to blame.
In text messages, Ahanotu indicated he suffered from "post NFL aggression," which he was taking out on his ex-fiance, sheriff's officials said.
Mr. Ahanotu's self diagnosis is something that we believe must be explored.
If in fact his behavior has been impacted by this newly registered syndrome, we believe that Tank Johnson, Pacman Jones , Chris Henry and Michael Vick deserve to be evaluated using the same criteria that was used in locating this syndrome in Mr. Ahanotu.
Certainly, the off season would present an opportune time for such a malady to manifest itself.
While this twist in the life and well being of Mr. Ahanotu is most unfortunate, it seems to have happened for a reason.
Clearly, Roger Goodell's liberal application of his 'conduct policy' would have to be reviewed, if in fact it is in violation of accepted disability laws.
It would seem, now that it has been established that 'NFL aggression syndrome' is at fault for unusual behavior of players off the field, that the NFL may not only be the cause of the problems...but also may be violating disability employment practices by suspending afflicted players.