NFL Legend John Mackey, Inspiration for Mental Disability ’88 Plan,’ Dies at 69

John Mackey, the Hall of Fame tight end for the old Baltimore Colts and later a National Football League Players Association pioneer, has died at age 69 after battling dementia for more than a decade.

In recent years NFL Player Care enacted a plan to reimburse retirees up to $88,000 a year for acute-care expenses in connection with mental disability claims. The “88 Plan” was named in honor of Mackey, who wore uniform number 88.

Inexcusably, the main obituary on Mackey at The Baltimore Sun does not even make reference to the 88 Plan. The story does note his dementia and that his “off-the-field exploits were as important as his accomplishments on it.” See,0,5908899.story.

Irv Muchnick


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