Turley challenges active players to give to fund
ESPN.com news services
Updated: November 27, 2007, 1:20 PM ET
Kyle Turley is donating an entire game check to the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund for retired NFL players in need -- and challenging his fellow active players to give as well.
"I am issuing a challenge to all current players of this great game to take action and stand with me and show these men that they are not forgotten," the Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman said in a news release issued by Gridiron Greats on Tuesday.
"I am asking them to join me by donating a portion of their December 23 game check, whether large or small, to go directly to retired players in need. Whether they choose to keep their participation confidential or release their name as a participant is not important. What is important is doing something to make a difference."
The Gridiron Greats fund, overseen by NFL Hall of Famers Mike Ditka and Gale Sayers, provides financial assistance and coordinates social service assistance to retired NFL players in need. Ditka has been an outspoken critic of the NFL and its players union over the disability benefits program for retired players.
"The fact that there are so many guys out there in desperate need of help, when something could be done by the owners and the union, is shameful," said Sayers, a board member of the Gridiron Greats. "While they spend their time making excuses, we are committed to providing whatever help we can to improve the lives of so many of the men that played this great game. In this season of giving it is absolutely wonderful what [Turley] and these active players are doing by reaching out to the retired players who are need."