NFLPA still concerned about Chargers’ doctor


The news that three independent physicians reviewed the work of Dr. David Chao and found him qualified to be the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers has not satisfied the NFL Players Association.

NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said in a statement to the Associated Press that concerns remain about whether Chao is an appropriate choice to provide treatment to players on the Chargers, based on a past history of losing malpractice lawsuits.

“The fact is that despite having previous malpractice liability judgments against him, neither the Chargers nor the NFL initiated an inquiry or provided any oversight of the doctor the team selected to provide care for our players,” Smith said.

According to the Associated Press, Dr. Chao has been accused of negligence and failure to maintain adequate medical records, that he was ordered to pay $5.2 million to a former patient (not a Chargers player) in a malpractice case last summer, and that he was publicly reprimanded by the Medical Board of California after he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence.

Smith sees a pattern of conduct from Dr. Chao that point to a larger issue with the players, namely that they want more oversight on how team doctors are chosen.

“The NFLPA will take every step to hold the NFL and its member clubs accountable to provide the care that they are mandated to provide,” Smith said. “Dr. Chao’s previous medical liability issues only increases our desire to engage in a thorough and comprehensive credentialing process to determine which physicians are providing care to our players and how they were selected by the teams.”

For now, however, Dr. Chao remains the team doctor.

29 responses to “NFLPA still concerned about Chargers’ doctor

  1. DeMaurice Smith has a troubling history of being and incompetent bumbling fool. Apparently, his consistency is more important than his inability to negotiate a contract.

  2. If I were Chao I would seriously consider a lawsuit against Smith. Then the NFLPA can consider whether or not they want to be represented by someone with a history of losing defamation cases.

  3. Some white males just can’t stand the idea of a black man being in charge of anything. The racist slime always oozes out from under its rock whenever this guy is mentioned. What’s the matter – did a black kid steal your girlfriend?

  4. Given DeSmith’s malpractice during the lock out that should never have been and his subsequently relinquishing dictatorial control to Goodell on top of his general ineptness, the players should be suing him for malpractice and removing him office.

  5. Smith is barking up the wrong tree. He should be more concerned with his rank and file. And how they represent the league. Another pointless diatribe from guy who has a gravy job. And how did he get it? That’s what he should remember. Instead of trying to exploit something meaningless.

  6. If he was cleared by people who are far more intelligent and can determine the things he is talking about, then he needs to be quiet.

    Chargers players have come out and defended him.

    He had a DUI. So did Vincent Jackson, but I don’t see De Smith out there campaigning against players because he would lose his job.

    Dr. Chao has accomplished more in his field than DeSmith has in a court room.

    Amazing babble by a feeble little man.

  7. De Smith should be more worried about his own guys driving drunk during their time off, players with guns, and taking guns to airports. He’s already lost at least 2 union members last year.

  8. Have any of the Chargers players complained? If the players that he is treating don’t have any complaints about him, how can the union complain about him?

  9. “Some white males just can’t stand the idea of a black man being in charge of anything. The racist slime always oozes out from under its rock whenever this guy is mentioned. What’s the matter – did a black kid steal your girlfriend?”

    Not sure who in particular you are referring to here, but I am actually a black man myself. I don’t like the fact that the doctor satisfied the reviews that were demanded of him, has the support of a number of Chargers players and, despite all of this, De Smith is still attacking him. I think that if you’re going to levy charges against people, you should have proof that the thing that you’re accusing them of has occurred.

    Which is a perfect transition to your statement. You are assuming that any negative words spoken about an action De Smith has taken, including mine, are because he’s black. It’s certainly not true in my case and it’s probably not the case with a number of other people either. So, the same thing I would say to Smith, I say to you. Don’t accuse people of things unless you have a valid reason to do so and some way of proving it.

  10. You guys serious??? How can anyone possibly say this isn’t a topic worth looking into? Anyone here ok with seeing a doctor who has two malpractice suits (which he lost!) against him? Not to mention a DUI (please don’t compare a football player getting a DUI to a doctor getting one. A football player will never have my life in his hands) That’s PLENTY of evidence to start an investigation on him. And ten doctors can tell me he’s cool. I’m still not seeing the guy.

    So stop picking on De smith, the dude has done plenty wrong but this isn’t one of those times.

  11. Typical union mudslinging. De is trying to find something to appear relevant after getting schooled during the CBA.

  12. Ask around the San Diego orthopedic and sports medicine community some time about Chao… you will quickly find that he is a laughing stock. Do a little research before defending this clown.

  13. Frankly I’m surprised at the comments section for this one. What Smith “should focus more” on is irrelevant to the conversation.

    People, this is an article about the players union trying to replace a team doctor who has been found guilty of malpractice (let’s repeat that for those who think incorrectly believe the subject of this topic is DeMaurice Smith… found GUILTY of malpractice!!!). Oh… and he’s be found guilty of driving under the influence. Bad judgment with this guy abounds.

    If the article was “Smith decides to agree with the NFL that a doctor found guilty of malpractice and drunk driving is suitable to serve as the Chargers team doctor” EVERYBODY here would be criticizing Smith.

    People… be objective. Smith is showing common sense on this issue.

  14. What we have here (other than failure to communicate) is a doctor who’s probably not fit to be a team physician and a union president who’s definitely not fit to do much of anything.

    What’s really crazy is that they both make The Great Roger Goodell Himself Live And In Person look semi-hemi-demi-competent.

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