The news that former players are suing the NFL over the effects of painkillers they were given by team doctors doesn’t sit well with former Jaguars offensive lineman Tony Boselli.
Boselli, a five-time Pro Bowler who was just elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, told CBS Sports Radio’s The Morning Show that everyone who plays football understands there are risks. Boselli said his own sons play football, and he thinks there are simply some risks that football players have to accept as part of the game.
“My whole thing about the concussion [lawsuit] is I question some of the guys in it and why they were in it – because we do know the risks,” Boselli said. “I thought whatever money was gotten from that lawsuit should go to the guys who really need it – the guys who have dementia, the guys who have ALS, debilitating injuries. Listen, we play the game. We know it’s risky. If any of us who played [says], ‘Oh, I didn’t realize that my body was not going to be the same the rest of my life,’ then you’re lying to yourself and everyone else, in my opinion.”
Boselli says he took painkillers when he was a player, and that was a choice that he made, knowing the risks associated with using painkillers but also knowing the huge rewards of being a millionaire professional athlete.
“I’m not saying the NFL has no responsibility,” he said. “But I would put most of the responsibility on the players ourselves – because we chose to play the game. We knew the risk. We chose to take pain pills. I took pain pills. I took Toradol. I did those things. No one made me do them. I wanted to be on the field. Was there pressure to be on the field? Sure, it’s a job – just like the guy who’s waking up this morning, there’s pressure to go perform at his job so he can provide for his family. The biggest difference is we were compensated in a very nice way.”
The players suing over painkillers, however, say they were misled by the very team doctors who were supposed to be keeping them safe. Those players say they didn’t know the full extent of the risks.