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Listen to What I’m Telling You (If you Can)

Jan. 1, 1970

Dear Fellow Former Players & Friends,

I’ve noticed lately that hardly a week goes by without a major newspaper or website discussing one of the many physical and mental challenges that we face after our days in the NFL.

Between the media coverage and Will Smith taking on the lead role in Concussion last year, almost everyone knows about the possible impact concussions can have on professional football players.  And even the wear and tear on our joints, that most of us experience, is becoming more commonly discussed and treated with programs and resources.

But there are some physical ailments that even many of our former players might not know about.  I can think of one that has impacted hundreds of players, and those are just the ones we know about.

In the last 18 months alone, the PAF and our partner EarQ have tested 227 former players for hearing loss, the third most common chronic health condition among adults.  What I’ve seen first hand is no joke. And the emotional impact a hearing aid can have on a player who doesn’t even know he has career-related hearing loss is powerful, it’s life altering.

I always come back to the opportunities we are afforded when we take action, and this is no different.  Just because we might not be aware of a problem, or an issue, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take preventative action.  I’ve seen players who think they are just fine come to hear the world around them in a brand new way.  It can bring tears to their eyes with the promise of new opportunities to hear their spouses, children and grandchildren–the world around them–in a way they didn’t even know they were missing.

Here at the PAF, we work hard to provide opportunities for you.  All we ask is that you make the time and take action.

Andre Collins


Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

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