AAF players left stranded with nowhere to live

Michael David Smith
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Many of the players who signed on with the Alliance of American Football were in temporary housing arranged by the league, and when the league pulled the plug they had nowhere to go.

Understandably, players who were signing on for a 10-week season at relatively modest salaries didn’t buy houses or sign year-long leases in the cities where they were playing, and some of those players say the hotels and apartments the AAF arranged for them kicked them out just as soon as the AAF canceled its season.

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Rich Ohrnberger, a former NFL player who was working as a radio analyst in the AAF, wrote on Twitter that “Players in Memphis came back to their hotels after news came down, and had their personal items waiting in the lobby. Kicked out of their lodgings.”

Memphis fullback Anthony Manzo-Lewis wrote on Twitter that he had already been kicked out of his hotel room and had no idea where to go. Teammate Brandon Silvers replied that he had a few more days at his Airbnb and would let Manzo-Lewis crash with him.

Ohrnberger also wrote that the players who suffered injuries are now on the hook for their own medical expenses going forward. Gionni Paul of the Salt Lake Stallions wrote on Twitter that he’s concerned after breaking his arm in the AAF. Some players indicated that they’re looking into filing workers’ comp claims.

That the AAF is folding so abruptly, with so little consideration for the players, does not speak well for chairman Tom Dundon or founders Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian. The league needed a better plan in place for how to survive — and how to handle it if the league couldn’t survive.

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