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Former Packers TE frustrated with health care for retired NFL players

A former Green Bay Packers tight end is taking the NFL to task for its treatment of players long retired.

Jamie Squire

Former Green Bay Packers tight end Gary Knafelc is putting pressure on the NFL and the NFL Players Association to provide health care for those who played in the league prior to 1970, according to 620 WTMJ in Wisconsin. Kfanelc played for the Packers from 1954 to 1963. He said that the NFL and the NFLPA have been unresponsive to the concerns of players from his era.


"We don't have a voice, and I really believe the reason that we don't have a voice is that they're hoping that if we keep dying off at the rate we are, we'll be all dead and they won't have to worry about anything," he said.

Knafelc has lobbied the NFLPA, but said that the association is much more concerned with how current players are being treated. He also said that the NFL has been able to deny any connection with ailments that have gotten worse with age due to the lack of medical records from when players were in the league

"They say it happened too long ago. They don't have enough records to justify helping you out at that time. In fact, they even come to the point of , 'How do we even know that injury was something you did playing football? It was not something you did later on?'"

Knafelc is 81 years old, and served as the Packers' public address announcer for 40 years before retiring. He finished with 154 receptions for 2,162 yards and 23 touchdowns playing most of his career in Green Bay.

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