Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark has questioned the distribution of money collected from on-field fines, according to a story today in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
“How about it goes to families and these kids who won’t have insurance after the March deadline?” Clark said. “You want to take money and give it here and give it there, but how about us having no insurance? Families of five? Three kids? Put money there and take it when it is supposed to be taken.”
All on-field fine money collected by the NFL is used for charitable purposes. These funds have been used to support retired player programs, including the NFL Player Care Foundation and NFLPA Players Assistance Trust; disaster relief initiatives; and health-related charities.
A strike or lockout triggers rights under a federal law known as COBRA that allows employees to continue their existing health insurance coverage without interruption or change in terms — either at their expense or their union’s expense. This means that no NFL player or family member would experience any change in coverage for so much as a single day because of a work stoppage. During the 2004-2005 NHL lockout, the NHL’s players union secured substitute coverage for its members at its expense.