By Gina Miranda |Staff Writer|
Former NFL players are suing the league for their unethical practices in masking injury with pain killers for player performance and financial profit.
Nearly 500 former NFL players are seeking compensation for their post career ailments, claiming NFL doctors would keep players in the dark about their health and game related injuries.
Steven Silverman, an attorney for the players, said in a statement, “The NFL knew of the debilitating effects of these drugs on all of its players and callously ignored the players’ long-term health in its obsession to return them to play.”
Players perform in sixteen regular season games, with the possibility of playoff contention.
In order to perform, players were lavished with an array of anti-inflammatory drugs, injections, and addictive pain killers before, during and after games and practices.
Unbeknownst to the players, their long-term dependency on prescription drugs has gone far beyond their contractual agreement the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit claims that may narcotic pain killers were used to push injured athletes back on the field.
Vicodin, anti-inflammatory injections such as Toradol and post game prescriptions, to a few.
Players claim they were dependent on sleep aids such as Ambien in order to sleep through the aches and pains of their athletic profession, as stated in the lawsuit.
The aforementioned drugs at alleviate severe levels of pain, but yield life threatening effects such as liver damage, kidney failure, intestinal bleeding, addiction, heart disease, injuries to muscles, ligaments, and other deadly effects of long term prescription drug usage, claims the lawsuit.
Retired player Kyle Turley, a Moreno Valley, Ca. native and a litigant in the case, claims that drugs were easy to come by and comparable to candy.
“There was a room set up near the locker room and you got in line,” Turley said.
“Obviously, we were grown adults and we had a choice. But when a team doctor is saying this will take the pain away, you trust them,” added Turley.
Former quarterback, Jim McMahon, suffered many injuries throughout his career, including a broken neck and ankle, injuries he claims were withheld from him and replaced with prescription drugs.
As a result of those injuries, McMahon openly admitted drug addiction to Percocet, stating in the lawsuit he consumed up to 100 pills in a given month, including the off-season.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), opium related drugs such as Vicodin can have effects similar to heroin.
The NIDA claims that as a result of costly over the counter drugs, addicts occasionally turn to heroin as an affordable outlet for their prolonged dependency.
The lawsuit claims unspecified damages on behalf of more than 500 players; similarly, the NFL has yet to settle their previous lawsuit involving ethical practices with confused players.
The NFL reached a settlement in their previous lawsuit for $765 million with thousands of former players claiming long-term suffrage from game related concussions.
A Judge has yet to reach an agreement in that settlement, claiming victims may be entitled to much more compensation than $765 million.
Similar statements were made in that lawsuit regarding players and the unethical practices of their medical treatments.