NFL owners and NFL players agree to buy back stock
NFL owners, including the NFLPA, and NFL Players Association have agreed to buyback stock worth $5 billion to $7 billion in the wake of the recent concussion crisis.
The deal is the largest buyback of sports team stock in U.S. history.
“This is the right time to step back and allow for the rebuilding of our players and their families, and to start a new chapter in the NFL’s history,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
“The NFLPA and I are committed to doing everything possible to help our players heal and rebuild their lives, and the League will continue to be an advocate for their well-being and the NFL.”
The deal is contingent on the NFL taking steps to rein in player safety, including implementing a leaguewide concussion protocol, eliminating the use of the helmet during games and instituting a mandatory five-game suspension for players found guilty of violating the league’s concussion protocol.
Goodell also said the NFL will begin an aggressive program of public education about concussion to educate fans, players, parents and other stakeholders.
The NFL said it has received over $6 billion in pledges for the buyback, which will include more than $1 billion in contributions from the NFL, its players and its players’ agents.
A new $25 million fund to support the buybacks will be created for the NFL players and NFLPA.
The buyback program will be overseen by a committee consisting of representatives from the League and its clubs, NFL officials, and stakeholders.
The committee will review the buy-back plan every six months and submit its recommendations to Goodell.
In addition, the buy back will require the NFL to implement a concussion protocol that includes: The implementation of a five-week suspension for a first offense and the establishment of a mandatory one-game ban for a second offense.
New guidelines for the treatment of concussions in training camps and the preseason, and a mandatory 10-day medical leave program for any player diagnosed with a concussion during the course of a preseason game.
For the first time, the NFL is also requiring that teams be required to pay for the full cost of any concussion-related treatment and medical care for their players and employees.
All players, their parents and their agent must sign a voluntary declaration acknowledging their responsibility to provide care and treatment for players diagnosed with concussion during their professional careers.
Players who do not sign this declaration are expected to forfeit $2 million to the NFL for each year of an unpaid suspension.
Additionally, the league is requiring that all teams pay $500 million toward the NFL Players Assurance Fund, which includes a $250 million guarantee for players who do receive a concussion-specific medical treatment.
These measures are in addition to the $1.5 billion in additional cash the NFL has committed to help its players recover from the recent crises.
As part of the deal, the teams will be able to use some of the $5.7 billion of the buyBACK fund to buy the footballs and equipment for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
The players will be allowed to keep the equipment.
The new funds will be used to repair and rebuild the football fields in the Super Bowl venues that were hit hard by the current concussion crisis and to rebuild the stadiums that are being damaged by the Superdome fires.
During the agreement, the owners of the teams, the players and the unions agreed to establish a $100 million fund for the repair and rebuilding of the stadiums and field equipment in those cities that were damaged in the fires.
Goodell said the funds will cover the cost of the repair of the field and stadium equipment.
With the buy BACK, the four major sports leagues are pledging more than 2 billion dollars in additional donations to the players’ and teams’ recovery efforts.
NFL owners, players and unions agreed in the deal to: · Implement a protocol to address the safety of all NFL players in order to reduce the likelihood of additional concussions during the season and to help players recover fully from concussions.
· Establish a 10-year moratorium on the use or sponsorship of any team equipment that is suspected to contain any substance that could cause a player’s symptoms.
To ensure that the new protocols are implemented, the companies will:· Work with the NFL and the National Football League Players Association to develop and implement new protocols for the use and sponsorship of helmets, helmets with protective padding, protective gloves and other protective equipment.· Provide $500,000 in cash to the league for each player who receives a concussion in the course, in the immediate aftermath or during a game.· Require all players to undergo a concussion assessment and to report symptoms to the teams.· Create a team-wide protocol to report and evaluate any player who has a concussion.· Offer an incentive program for teams to increase their training practices in accordance with the protocol.· Allow teams to purchase new footballs from suppliers in an effort