NFLPA: Bengals ownership is attempting to strip workers' compensation benefits from Ohio athletes

The Players Association claims this in a letter sent to players
Paycor Stadium in September 2022.
Posted at 7:44 PM, Mar 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-13 22:57:07-04

CINCINNATI — In a letter sent to NFL players, the NFL Players Association is claiming that Mike Brown, the owner of the Cincinnati Bengals, is jeopardizing Ohio athletes' workers compensation benefits.

The changes the NFLPA is claiming would impact Bengals and Cleveland Browns players.

According to the letter written by the NFLPA, "Bengals ownership has asked the Ohio legislature to strip Bengals and Browns players of their workers' compensation benefits."

Ohio workers are entitled to workers' compensation benefits for injuries sustained in the workplace.

"Simply put, it is an attack on your rights as an American and a player covered by the CBA," the NFLPA writes in a letter to players.

According to the NFLPA, Bengals ownership is claiming that "athletes who are under contract to play for a professional athletic team are not eligible to file for or receive a permanent partial disability award."

The NFLPA says legislation at the Ohio Statehouse would prohibit players from pursuing their workers' compensation rights to future medical treatment or compensation.

"Worker' compensation can provide you as players (all of whom who get injured) with lifetime healthcare for these injuries (including concussions and joint replacement) without out-of-pocket cost to you," the NFLPA wrote.

The NFLPA also claims that if this amendment is passed, it will affect the statute of limitations regarding workers' compensation claims.

"If this amendment is passed, any athlete who remained under contract with an Ohio team (or any other team) would have their claims expire five years from the date of their work-related injury," the NFLPA writes.

Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz said the proposed amendment is not yet finalized. In a statement to WCPO, he said the "core elements that we are trying to have considered is to preclude professional sports players who remain actively employed in professional sports from claiming permanent partial disability for so long as they continue playing in professional supports."

"In no way is it a complete cessation of workers compensation benefits for professional athletes," Seitz said.

The NFLPA promises players in the letter that they'll do everything they can to "mobilize to protect (players') rights."

WCPO has reached out to the Bengals for comment and is awaiting a response.

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