October 08, 2017

Rocky Bleier vs. Today's NFL

Jack Kemp

I recently had a nostalgic recollection of Rocky Bleier, the Steeler who had been badly wounded fighting in Vietnam, and how he rehabilitated. I bought his old biography on Amazon, "Fighting Back." And here below is what I found inside on page 186.

For the 1973 season, a still rehabing while playing on special teams Rocky Bleier was paid $25,000 ($5,000 of that was a bonus) to sign again with the Steelers. Alright, in those days a new Ford Mustang probably cost $2500 or so, but still... It was like reading a story about another world, another civilization. I don't even have to wonder about what Rocky Bleier today thinks of not standing for the National Anthem. Even back in the 1970s, he was active in an organization called President's Jobs for Veterans committee, trying to help get veterans better benefits. The book talks about how the G.I. Bill of those days was a better deal for a single white male with no family than a black veteran because of cultural differences. So Bleier wanted to help blacks outside the stadium and not engage in some shallow virtue signaling. Even today, Bleier is still active in helping veterans.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 08:23 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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