Minneapolis, retired NFL greats, Carl Eller, Lem Bailey, Deacon Jones and other NFL Hall of Famers, announced the launch of the Retired Players Association (RPA). The launch will take place at the NFL Enshrinement Festival at the NFL Hall of Fame Ceremony in Canton Ohio on August 7th 2010.
To address concerns that are intimate to players, the RPA was established by players and for players. Many believe Eller is one of the best advocates in the league to run an organization like this. Eller has been assisting players for years in many different capacities.
“I have been actively involved with helping players before, during and after their time in the league with important issues, healthy lifestyle coaching, educating players about “specific to the league”, health-related issues such as head injuries, dementia, back injuries,” explains Carl Eller, a 6 time Pro Bowler.
Eller has also taught players how to be good mentors to youth, he has helped players with family issues, taught about the importance of community service, pensions, finances, investing and preparing for retirement, since retirement happens much younger for professional athletes.
Eller has enlisted the help of esteemed Neurologist, Dr. Patricio F. Reyes, M.D., to help develop board members in special areas to assist with player needs. Dr. Reyes is the Director the Centers for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease Care, Health Partner’s Specialty Center, and Alzheimer’s Research Center.
The concept for the RPA began with Eller two-years ago, and has grown with many current players and retired players all expressing interest in helping and becoming a part of the association. Eller says, “The RPA is growing in influence and momentum, with more players being added to the Board of Directors, more opportunities and partnerships developing daily.”
The RPA will provide parenting programs and work along side many already established professional sports associations, such as All Pro Dads. “We want to bring to the forefront this cadre of retired players who are still valuable resources in their communities,” says Eller.
As the RPA grows in the years to come, Eller is already looking forward to integrating additional services to the association, including clinics around the country for High School and College level players. The RPA will also implement an eco-technology program. The RPA’s Legends for Technology Program, will create technology and “green”, sustainable energy programs in disadvantaged areas around the country modeled after the programs Eller currently operates in Minnesota.