NFL players have long opposed having blood drawn to test for human growth hormone, but the league’s lawyer says HGH testing is coming in the next labor deal.
“We expect that we will have testing for HGH. I think that both sides believe that’s important for the integrity of the game and that we should continue to be leaders here,” NFL general counsel Jeff Pash told the New York Daily News. “I think that’s a view that’s strongly held by the players as it by us.”
Whether testing for HGH is the right next step or not, this may be another example of how it would be wise for Pash to keep quiet right now. It’s not Pash’s place to say which views are “strongly held by the players,” and the players don’t like hearing Pash speaking for them.
The players don’t like hearing Pash speaking, period.
Although the NFL players have generally been supportive of testing for performance-enhancing substances (a matter on which they historically were in sharp contrast to baseball players, who fought tooth and nail against testing), they have drawn the line on blood tests, and blood tests are the only tests that work for HGH. Pash says now is the time for HGH testing to be added.
“I’m not saying it is rampant in the league,” Pash said. “But what I am saying is we should be leaders in ensuring and doing everything we can to promote the integrity of the game and the health of the players, and they agree with that and we agree with that.”
If the players do agree with that, it would probably be wise of Pash to let the players be the ones to say so.