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Chargers team doctor cleared after NFLPA protest

David Chao Getty Images

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.

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20 Responses to “Chargers team doctor cleared after NFLPA protest”
  1. mazblast says: Feb 10, 2013 12:30 AM

    Anyone who has the title “team doctor” is automatically suspect as to objectivity and placing the interests of hie/her patients first.

    If I played for the Chargers, I wouldn’t let this hack within ten feet of me. My CAREER would be at risk.

  2. jameslongstaffe says: Feb 10, 2013 12:33 AM

    Stop drinking & driving, no more narcotic prescriptions, you are a doctor & that is not acceptable. There are good people that never get a chance to get into medical school, so don’t disrespect the process. Good luck on a second chance that most people never get.

  3. boyshole25 says: Feb 10, 2013 12:39 AM

    When is someone gonna come out firing against de smith?

  4. doomsdayZen says: Feb 10, 2013 1:00 AM

    The Chargers always talk about how the character of their players and organization is of paramount importance and yet the reputation of the team doctor has been clouded by scandal for YEARS.

    There’s something very fishy going on in the relationship between the Chargers and Dr. Chao. I don’t know what it is but something’s not right.

  5. djstat says: Feb 10, 2013 1:02 AM

    Does De Smith have anything nice to say about anyone? This guys just causes trouble

  6. mrgroovesd says: Feb 10, 2013 1:13 AM

    You know players have a choice of who works on them and don’t have to go to their team doctor. Most players from other teams go to Dr Andrews for most injuries and not their team dr.

  7. whoopingchow says: Feb 10, 2013 1:38 AM

    It’s a shame that most of what I know about “Dr.” Chao’s poor conduct comes from Deadspin’s own investigations into allegations made against him. Wouldn’t a good place to start enforcing player safety rules be with the team doctors?

  8. kattykathy says: Feb 10, 2013 2:33 AM

    There is a union honcho named Demo Smith, who is currently the NFLPA executive director, who was completely outsmarted by the owners in the last contract negotiation. Who has been found incompetent by his peers, He is STILL the head of the players union.

    Now I am not a union bigwig, I don’t even pretend to be one when I am bashing Gestapo Goodell. But it seems to me that the players deserve to be represented by someone who has not been taken advantage of, and schooled by the owners…over and over again

  9. Savage Lizard says: Feb 10, 2013 3:10 AM

    I don’t know Dr. Chao, but it seems to me that the players who have his back have better knowledge of the doctor than DeMaurice “How Can I Get Some Attention” Smith.

  10. haminator says: Feb 10, 2013 4:18 AM

    Is that what’s wrong with Phillip?

  11. arbiterflick says: Feb 10, 2013 5:36 AM

    This is shocking. Chao is as crooked as they come.

    How many fans of other teams know the name of their physician? Probably very few. The only reason Chargers fans do is for all the wrong reasons.

  12. myschwartzisbiggerthenyours says: Feb 10, 2013 7:28 AM

    De, you lose again.

  13. chattanola says: Feb 10, 2013 7:38 AM

    So Demaurice comes out with damaging info about a specific doctor during a high profile press conference. What was his motivation for doing that?

    Then 3 “independent” doctors say he’s qualified to practice medicine and totally exonerated. So does this mean that the malpractice did not exist or just that Chan is a legally certified MD?

    There is something odd about this issue, we have no idea whats going on.

  14. lawyermalloy says: Feb 10, 2013 7:47 AM

    I doesn’t really matter as the CBA allows for players to seek a 2nd opinion.

  15. gpry says: Feb 10, 2013 8:06 AM

    Typical union mudslinging! Old De got schooled in the last CBA and now is just throwing mud on walls to see if anything sticks so he can appear relevant. Foxworth is in over his head and is just a crony!

  16. phillyphan77 says: Feb 10, 2013 11:00 AM

    Choa is also the physician for the summer x-games and is a very good orthopedic physician.

  17. phillyphever says: Feb 10, 2013 11:33 AM

    Makes me wonder how the hell Smith got the job over Troy Vincent.

  18. changeup39 says: Feb 10, 2013 12:10 PM

    Almost every physician in the United States is sued every few years for malpractice– most people don’t realize this horrible part of medicine in this country, but its true. Most physicians that work with patients who have chronic pain (like this doctor) prescribe narcotics.

    If this guy got a DUI that’s pretty terrible, but this seems a little bit like NFLPA mudslinging.

  19. cliffordc05 says: Feb 10, 2013 12:27 PM

    I think DeMaurice Smith would be well advised to not accuse another professional of incompetence or being unfit. Perhaps Billy Hunter is more corrupt, but DeMaurice Smith took a beating in last year’s contract negotiations with the owners. His current tactic of attempting to leverage HGH testing to undo some of the commissioner’s authority is another loser. The owners can take the high ground morally and eventually congress will intervene. The union is now in a position of protecting the cheaters because of incompetent leadership.

  20. mrpowers88 says: Feb 10, 2013 4:20 PM

    Its obvious Smith is just trying to look like he’s doing something productive. The players should oust him when they see that the cap goes up less than $1Million, again.

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