NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith came out firing against San Diego Chargers team doctor David Chao during a press conference at the Super Bowl as the union asked that the Chargers find a “suitable replacement.”
The union’s grievance prompted a review through the collective bargaining agreement by three independent doctors to evaluate Chao and his qualifications.
According to Michael Gelhken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chao has been “totally exonerated” from the NFLPA’s claim that he is unfit to serve as team physician.
Smith and NFLPA president Dominique Foxworth attacked Chao’s credibility by citing his medical history.
“There is a team doctor named Dr. Chao who is currently the San Diego team doctor,” Smith said, “who has been found liable of medical malpractice twice — twice. The same doctor was the subject of a DEA investigation. He’s still the San Diego Chargers team doctor.
“Now, I’m not a doctor. I don’t even play one on TV. But it seems to me that the players of the National Football League deserve to have a doctor who’s not been found liable of malpractice, and that’s within the last year.”
Several Chargers players, including quarterback Philip Rivers and center Nick Hardwick, have come to Chao’s defense since the NFLPA put Chao in their cross-hairs. The panel of independent doctors apparently disagreed with the NFLPA’s complaints.