Several former NFL players have filed a lawsuit, which alleges the league force-fed players powerful narcotic pain medication to keep them comfortably numb and profitable.
"Rather than allowing players the opportunity to rest and heal, the NFL has illegally and unethically substituted pain medications for proper health care to keep the NFL's tsunami of dollars flowing," said lead plaintiff Richard Dent, in a federal lawsuit that was filed on Tuesday.
The complaint suggests that the league administered players with illegally obtained prescription painkillers without regard for their personal safety and well being. Shockingly, a number of plaintiffs have come forward with reports that league medical examiners did not inform players of broken bones and other major injuries but instead loaded them up with dope in order to keep them playing. Others claim they retired from the NFL full-blown junkies.
Lead attorney Steven Silverman said players were given hefty regimens of pain medication, including Percodan, Percocet and Vicodin, as well as the prescription sleep aid, Ambien, which he says were “handed out like candy at Halloween.” He admits that while some players knew they were consuming medications that were a detriment to their health, many believed they would be fired if they did not follow the league’s medical advice.
Some plaintiffs also claim they were pushed to take Toradol, "the current game-day drug of choice of the NFL,” which has been shown to cause a variety of serious health issues, including kidney failure. “If a player cannot feel the pain, he exposes himself to further danger," according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit spans nearly 40 years of the NFL: Richard Dent, Roy Green, JD Hill, Keith Van Horne, Ron Stone, Ron Pritchard and James McMahon, all of which played for various teams for the league between 1969 and 2008. They are seeking “an injunction creating an NFL-funded testing and monitoring program to help prevent addiction and injuries and disabilities related to the use of painkillers” and “unspecified financial damages.”
This legal debacle comes just days after reports regarding the NFL reaching a new drug policy agreement that would loosen the penalties surrounding marijuana, as well as incorporate testing for human growth hormone. So far, the league has not responded to the claim.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.