Commissioner Roger Goodell and New York Giants president John Mara last night joined NFL Alumni Association president George Martin at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new NFL Alumni national headquarters in Newark, NJ.
Sylvia Mackey, the wife of Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker also participated in the ceremony. Former NFL players in attendance included Super Bowl XXV MVP Ottis Anderson, Hall of Famer Harry Carson, Rich Caster, Bruce Laird, Tommy Luongo, Bart Oates, and Roman Oben.
“We’re here to help support the intentions of this association,” Commissioner Goodell said. “We all have to do a better job helping the retired players, whether it’s with physical, emotional or financial help.”
The NFL Alumni Association represents nearly 4,000 retired NFL players and is the largest alumni group in the sport. Martin became Alumni Association president last May.
“The retired players were looking for unified leadership and there’s no more respected or qualified person than George Martin,” Mara said. “I know he wants to do the right thing. While what the Alumni office did under previous management was good in terms of its local charity work, the Alumni Association now needs to focus on the real issues that retired players have. George understands that. The owners all have a priority to listen to what the retired players are saying and we are doing that.”
“We know a vast number of former players, for a variety of reasons, fall on hard times,” said Martin, who played 14 seasons for the New York Giants. “It’s a larger group than people realize, and we want to advocate for a better quality of life for all our constituents.”
Above: (from left) Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Giants President John Mara, Sylvia Mackey (wife of John Mackey), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Alumni Association President George Martin at ribbon cutting ceremony at opening of the NFL Alumni national headquarters in Newark.