Patriots gave Love two options: Retire for a year or be released

Getty Images

It’s becoming more clear that the New England Patriots cut defensive lineman Kyle Love for one reason.  He has Type-2 diabetes.

And while Love could, in theory, pursue legal claims against the team under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act or the Massachusetts equivalent, agent Richard Kopelman tells PFT that Love’s current focus is on getting healthy and finding a new NFL team.

Though Kopelman hasn’t completely ruled out an eventual lawsuit, Kopelman explained that Love has no hard feelings against the team for doing what it believed it needed to do.  From Love’s perspective, if the team doesn’t want him, then he needs to find one who does.

What his most recent team did, per Kopelman, was offer Love two alternatives:  retire for a year or be released.  Though the Pats were willing to waive any ability to recover a portion of his signing bonus if he opted to retired, Love wants to play football.

And so the choice became easy.  He picked the path that gives him a chance to play.

“We have every reason to believe Kyle is going to be well enough to play this year,” Kopelman said.  “We’d rather be in position of having a chance to play this year versus not having a chance to play this year.”

The period for claiming Love’s contract on waivers expires at 4:00 p.m. ET.  If he’s not claimed, Love becomes a free agent.

Kopelman also explained the communications that resulted in Love’s release.  From the moment the team’s doctors made the diagnosis, the team adopted the “retire or be released” stance.  Kopelman told the Patriots that “it’s far too early to make a decision as to whether [Love] can perform his job in September, or even July,” and that “all indications are that Kyle should be fine in a couple of weeks.”

Still, the Patriots “reiterated it’s a medical issue and they don’t want to take a chance of Kyle not being healthy.”

While Kopelman has managed to take the high road, someone needs to point out that the Patriots are joyriding on the low one.  Jettisoning an employee who has a disease simply because the team fears that the disease could affect future performance is wrongheaded, unfair, and ultimately illegal.

It sends a bad message to mid-level managers in other industries who spend more time in the sports pages than the business section.  “It just seems wrong,” one of my family members who has been living with diabetes for years said in an unsolicited text message that buzzed through while I was typing this.  “It upsets me and confuses me and makes me wonder what other kind of discrimination is out there for someone like me.”

That’s a fair concern.  People with diabetes lead normal lives.  And so at a time when the biggest talking point in the NFL relates to whether a team will accept a gay player, how can any NFL team in good conscience reject a player due to a medical condition that has no relevance to his ability to perform his job?

Even if Love never takes action, someone should — either at the league office or in the Patriots’ front office.

107 responses to “Patriots gave Love two options: Retire for a year or be released

  1. Is his type 2 diabetes a “permanent disability”? If it can be “cured” by losing 50 pounds and changing his diet it isn’t. If it isn’t ADA doesn’t apply.

    Before you advocate a lawsuit or disciplinary action you would have to know whether a doctor classified it as a “permanent disability”. So unless Love releases that information from his doctor you’ve put the cart way before the horse.

  2. “Jettisoning an employee who has a disease simply because the team fears that the disease could affect future performance is wrongheaded, unfair, and ultimately illegal.”

    You really are a worse lawyer than football blogger. You seem to completely fail to understand that while Love could sue the Patriots, there are no explicit laws or legal precedent to support doing so. The very fact that Massachusetts prohibits type 1 diabetics from being hired in any law enforcement or fire/rescue capacity would make any lawsuit a big uphill climb. Also, in case you weren’t aware, the FAA prohibits diabetics from being commercial airline pilots. The armed forces also exclude diabetics.

    [By the way, that you will almost inevitably delete this comment gives me the satisfaction of knowing you read it.]

  3. Yeah, the league office headed by The Great Roger Goodell Himself Live And In Person is really going to come down hard on the Bob Kraft’s Patriots.

    Don’t hold your breath.

    More importantly, though, good luck to Kyle Love. May you find success with your new team, including coming back to Foxboro, taking Tammy Brady’s head off, and handing it to Belichick.

  4. how can any NFL team in good conscience jettison a player due to a medical condition that has no relevance to his ability to perform his job?

    Hey Mike,

    Let us all know when you get diabetes and can play professional football…

    Yes, he MAY be able to continue playing, he may not. It’s not like he’s a WR and can get skinny and keep playing. He’s on the DL! He CAN’T lose 50 pounds and keep playing. I understand the whole, disability in the workplace, thing. IT’S FOOTBALL. It’s not like he’s sitting at a desk.

  5. This agent is a complete idiot. He said ridiculous things when this story broke, and now he’s back at it. The other day Kyle Love was going to be 100% despite this condition. Now he’s going to be “well enough”, what the heck is “well enough”, and why does Kopelman, who is an extremely lousy agent, somehow now qualified to make GM decisions? This guy needs to go away and all other players should be warned that their careers might fall apart and go into the toilet too if they choose poor quality representation. If Kyle Love wants to play football again, my first piece of advice for him is to fire Kopelman as soon as possible. That would score points with me if I was an owner, and I wouldn’t take his phone call if we was attached to this Kopelman guy.

    And what exactly did he say about a lawsuit now? I’d really like an exact quote so we can pick him apart further since he still deserves to be hammered for all of the bogus things he continues to say.

  6. I’m not sure how many players in the NFL have diabetes besides Jay Cutler, but there must be quite a few given diabetes prominence in this culture. Can’t see really how diabetes limits Cutler’s ability or endurance.

  7. Love lost his starting job to Deaderick last year. Deaderick was cut earlier this week. The Patriots brought in several more DTs this off season.

    Football isn’t like many other employers, ask Titus young or any player fired for DUI.

    Sucks for Love, if he gets claimed from waivers, or signs somewhere else than he’s in luck. The early release allows him time to find a new team in time for OTAs.

    If no one claims him or he doesn’t sign elsewhere then the writing is on the wall.

  8. The patriots certainly are sending the message that they don’t care about the players just whether or not they can produce – that’s pretty shady. Are they afraid brady’s time is almost out? But you had to play the gay card didn’t you.

  9. You know who doesn’t live a normal life? Nose tackles.

    The Patriots need him to stay a big nose tackle and his doctors need him to lose weight. If he loses weight then he can’t do his job. Why would the Patriots force someone to stay fat and impact his life.

  10. Love had all of 25 tackles and 1.5 sacks during the 2012 season. If you want to start a team and run it as a perennial 0-16 charity, you go right ahead.

    p.s. I take it the “rename these gosh darn racist Redskins” articles weren’t gaining any traction?

  11. Is type-2 diabetes caused at least in part by weight gain? Did the Pats tell him to lose weight and he didn’t? If they warned him about the consequences of his weight and he did nothing about it or disregarded the warnings, I think a lawsuit is going nowhere.

    On the other hand, I’m sure some lawyer would be happy to sue if they left him on the team and he dropped over dead of a heart attack in practice.

  12. Can someone explain how the Pats would benefit from him retiring for a year as opposed to putting him on the PUP list?

    Because it doesn’t make sense to me

  13. Can we now stop talking about what a great and classy organization the Patriots are?

  14. They also drafted Marcus Cannon. Ya know, who had been diagnosed with cancer and had to be treated for it.

    Diabetes is a complex disease in terms of controlling it correctly, but one way in which it’s often controlled is through maintaining a healthy weight.

    One thing that often doesn’t -totally- go hand in hand with being on the defensive line is maintaining what doctors consider a healthy weight.

  15. It’s perfectly legal for schools to discriminate against my son who is a diabetic (unless they are public or take federal funds). He is not allowed to be a pilot or join the military. Welcome to our world. . . .

  16. This is the dark side of the NFL – a player’s body is a machine to the team, and once the machine stops functioning or is likely to stop functioning at the level the team deems necessary, the player is gone. I am no expert on discrimination law, but my understanding was that it really only applied in situations where the trait did not directly affect job performance – and it seems like it is not an unreasonable stance to argue that type 2 diabetes will affect performance, especially since losing weight is probably the best move for Love’s personal health, but not for his on-field performance. As a Pats fan it is tough to see them treat a person like this, but as haters will exclaim and fans will admit, that is the downside of the “Patriot Way” – they will work with a player if they think he still has value to offer (Bruschi) but won’t hesitate to cut him loose if not.

  17. The Patriots drafted Marcus Cannon, who had cancer. Teddy Bruschi had a stroke and they never wavered in their support. Florio, you are ignoring facts in your pursuit of a controversial story. The Pats have shown in the past to be especially tolerant and supportive of non-football injuries, usually more so than any other team in the league. This was not discrimination, this was a team that was worried about the health of a player determining his ability to play, and decided that he would not be effective this year. They gave Love an option and he decided. As much as I’ve always loved him as a player, and I hope that he catches on somewhere and does great, the Patriots are not in the wrong here.

  18. When the release was announced, I remember thinking about an ADA suit, but I dismissed it because a) I’m not a lawyer b) no way are the Patriots that stupid and c) in an industry built on physical performance, I imagine there’s an exception built into the language of the law for this sort of thing. No one minded, for example, that Mark Herzlich ended up becoming undrafted because of Leukemia (as far as I can remember).

    This naturally could have all been avoided if the Patriots refused to give a reason for a release, if the NFL is an at-will employer (I’m pretty sure it is), which has always been odd to me.

    At any rate, that third concern still bugs me. Type II Diabetes is definitely manageable and a hell of a lot easier to deal with (in general – I cannot speak to specific cases) than Type I Diabetes, and can even be managed to the point of irrelevance, but wouldn’t that process be significant enough to affect performance?

    He lost 20 pounds before the diagnosis and has gained 10 of those pounds back. If it’s a sufficient industry risk, does that not make the lawsuit a nonissue?

    At any rate, interesting discussion. Would like to hear what other lawyers have to say, particularly regular litigants.

  19. Since when is it wrong for a team to cut a player due to medical concerns? Is that not their prerogative? If a player has a self-inflicted disease that increases their risk of injury or decreases their potential ability to play, why should that team be forbidden from refusing to accept that risk?

    If a player had a similar heart issue, articles would be written about “hoping someone takes a chance” on the player. If a player had weight issues that *may* impact their ability to play at some point in the future, isn’t it fair to cut them? I don’t see the reason for the outrage.

  20. Maybe they should have the blue handicapped parking spots painted on the field for these guys and hang the placards around their necks…

    Because the Patriot’s organization has identified diabetes as their core defensive problems and not the lack of ability to stop the run or any half-decent passing game, I’m sure Pats fans are ecstatic….
    (see 2012 49ers game highlights)

  21. Living a long and healthy life is more important than playing football, but the Patriots were wrong in how they handled this.

    This is discrimination and the Patriots should have offered to put him on non-injury list instead. I know its tough to lose money, but those are the breaks when running a business.

    The Bears kept Johnny Knox for over a year because of his injury and paid him for it. Sometimes its better for the organization to act like it actually cares and appreciates its employees.

  22. Only you (a true Patriots hater) would take the low road on this one. Can’t see the forest through the trees can you?

    The team is concerned about his health. Not just the recently exposed issue, but others that will be compounded by this.

    They know he is still young enough that if he took a year off, got everything regarding his health in order, then they would keep him on the roster and he would be a better player and healthier individual for it.

    But don’t let silly facts and care about an individuals well being cloud you from spewing out your “I need hits on my site so I’m going to sensationalize this” article. No, instead push the guy to try and perform at a level he may not yet be ready for and possibly cause him more harm.

    If it weren’t for the others writing stuff on this site, I would never visit it again….

  23. It’s true that many people lead normal lives with type-2 diabetes, some of my family members among them, but I disagree that being an NFL nose tackle is a “normal life”. His job requires him to be 300+ pounds, that can’t be good for his job. If he suffered a complication due to playing his position that could be a lawsuit waiting to happen.

  24. What is the difference between that and when a player is injured but not yet 100%, thereby the team decides to release the player?

  25. How do you know that HIS medical condition has no relevance to his ability to perform his job? It is ignorant to speculate on what exactly his medical condition is because as it is true that people with diabetes lead normal lives, the NFL is a violent sport that requires players to be able to compete at the top of their game.

    From the earlier post where the Patriots envy posters called out as a cruel hearted organization/tyrant, he was given an option to continue his career after being properly treated if able.

    Just like Gronk’s injury, no condition is the same.

  26. “That’s a fair concern. People with diabetes lead normal lives. And so at a time when the biggest talking point in the NFL relates to whether a team will accept a gay player, how can any NFL team in good conscience jettison a player due to a medical condition that has no relevance to his ability to perform his job?”

    Its obvious Florio you either don’t understand football or diabetes.

    Football for one is NOT a “normal” life when you consider how a football player treats his body. In addition Love’s job predicates him to be at an unhealthy weight. Which exacerbates his medical condition.

    My family has lived with the scourge of diabetes for generations… its KILLS you. It kills you faster if you do not follow established medical advise.

  27. Oh boy what a can-o-worms this would be…. Imagine how many guys get cut because of physically being unable to do something anymore…

  28. I sometimes wonder if the NFL would be better off with a weight limit on positions. I’ll bet more of these guys end up dying of Diabetes than brain injuries.

  29. First, I am a pats fan. Second, I am a friend who died of diabetes (adult diagnosis) because he had not learned to control it. He was an explorer who died of low blood sugar condition because he was not knowledgeable enough about the disease to recognize what was happening to him. The Patriots said, “retire for a year and we will let you come back” Translation: take a year to learn how to deal with the disease. I suffer from hypoglycemia and know how insidious the effects of low blood sugar can be when you are pumped on adrenaline. You don’t notice it until you blackout.
    This was not “joy riding on the low road” but a “take some time to learn about your condition so you don’t die.” Athletes can and do compete with blood sugar conditions. However, if you have not learned to recognize the symptoms, you run the risk of death.

  30. He’d also be an interesting choice for the Lions. The 3rd DT spot after Suh and Fairley will go to the best veteran coming out of the preseason, but that 4th spot will have to go to either a weaker veteran or a young prospect anyways, and they have a couple guys that might be able to play both positions on the DL, so the Lions not only would have a spot for a prospect at DT, but they could have some time to wait and stash him for next year like they did with the Cowboys OL Bill Nagy last season.

    Nagy is a free chance now to compete for a job and it didn’t cost anything to acquire him. Same with Love. But they could also try to get him on the cheap by waiting and just offering him a contract next year as his best option to make a roster.

  31. Why are you guys pushing this story so hard. It’s evidence that he wasn’t in good enough shape to play, not that he was cut becose of Type 2 Diabetes.

    It doesn’t matter what the reason was that he was out of shape… a non-football related injury, a virus, a disease… all of these things would mean he would get cut.

    “We have every reason to believe Kyle is going to be well enough to play this year,” Kopelman said. “We’d rather be in position of having a chance to play this year versus not having a chance to play this year.”

    That statement is telling… it means he isn’t ready to step on the field now. If he was ready to go, the Patriots wouldn’t care about Type 2 Diabetes. It’s an easily managable disease.

  32. ugh… I don’t like the way this turned out. We have had players that play after a stroke with a hole in his heart. Players who have had a heart attack and other health problems.

    However, I also understand (not necessarily agree with) why they did it. At the end of the day, while yes, elite athletes who have type 1 can play sports, I’m pretty sure nearly all those are fit, trim, athletic. It will be MUCH harder to maintain the weight that he needs to play DE/DT while keeping balance with his health and his diabetes.

    I’m glad they didn’t just throw him out and gave him the option to make sure that he could play before they brought him back after a year. I also understand his view that he wants to play now. Hopefully he is able to continue to be healthy and playing now without truly getting used to his diabetes and this doesn’t screw his future health over to what could be disasterous results. I wish him luck and am disappointed the way it went down but understand both sides of the story.

  33. As I understand it, the Patriots released him because of concerns about his recovery time, not just because he has diabetes. That is why they offered him the 1 year retirement option.

    If that’s the case, I fail to see how this is all that different from cutting any other marginal player with a health concern (i.e. a long term injury), which NFL teams do all the time.

  34. I am no fan of the patriots. I also don’t believe in discrimination in any form with regards to jobs.

    Like you stated, people with diabetes. However, like you have mentioned many times before, life in the NFL is far from normal.

    Diabetics have are subject to higher chance of injury, or a better way of stating it is that when injured they could have added complications or worsened.

    While I think that the player should get every opportunity, I also realize that the players and the formers players are taking every pain to make sure and sue the NFL for any and everything that they can right now, especially regarding safety.

    At the end of the day, it is looking like Kyle Love might be unfortunate collateral damage, from the players greed.

  35. Kraft, Mara and Rooney run this league. Their franchises can conduct business as they see fit with no fear of consequence from the league.

    The exception is one incident where the evidence was destroyed and they were slapped on the wrist.

    The patriots of the last ten years are on the way to mediocrity. Maybe not this year, but soon. Tommy will be old and William will be struggling to find another 6th round gem.

  36. This situation is all about whether or not the Patriots made a reasonable accommodation for Kyle Love, according to the guidelines outlined under the EEOC. According to Paul Perillo, the Pats made a reasonable accommodation and Love turned it down.

    I put up a link to the EEOC and diabetes since EEOC is part of the ADA regulation. You can google it. It is clear what the Patriots obligations were and offered Love a reasonable accommodation to take the signing bonus and retire for a year. Because Love turned it down, then the Patriots chose to cut him.

  37. jimmyt says:May 16, 2013 12:37 PM

    Good for him. Who would want to play for that jackass coach and cheating organization anyway?


    Everyone in the NFL except maybe Bart Scott. I think even he would play there if he was actaully asked.

  38. Oh My God. Football teams cut players when they think the players will be unable to perform to a satisfactory level. I never knew.

  39. Get off the ambulance chaser bandwagon. Kyle could NOT sue the team for a dismissal under the ADA because having that illness is NOT a disability. It is an illness. He is an at-will employee, and the team just let him know what his options are. They did him a favor.

  40. Can’t see really how diabetes limits Cutler’s ability or endurance.

    Diabetes does limit athletic performance. Your body depends on its ability to metabolize glucose to produce energy. Diabetic players require significant management by team doctors during games.

    Also, Cutler is a QB, not a defensive tackle. Completely different situation.

  41. It sure sounds like something the Patriots would do. Being such an unprepared, shoot-from-the-hip, talk-too-much organization.

    Especially BB, those are textbook Belichick traits…

    Let’s find out all the facts before we convict them.

  42. If I was Kyle love I would take more offense to the fact the pats want to keep the disease ridden, pus oozing, constantly needing surgery, can’t make it through a whole season, only wants to drink beer and party Gronk …… brilliant. Seeing he wants to just be a normal 24 year old, hang out on a college campus, drink beer, and wrestle with his brothers maybe the pats should give him the same “retire or be released” offer.

  43. So we want the Patriots or your team to be a nursing home or halfway house for guys that are not taking care of themselves and might be able to play or not. I am a diabetic,and I work very hard to maintain a lifestyle that helps in my treatment. In looking at Kyle ,it’s easy to see he isn’t doing that.
    Some of the posts suggest that if they think you have no value,they will get rid of you. Isn’t that true of any place you work. Where do you guys work that doesn’t do that.
    I wish Kyle the best. Maybe you’ll be lucky and your team will sign him.

  44. The poorly informed and misplaced beliefs about diabetes are a common source of both frustration and amusement in the diabetes community. Our forums continuously have “They said WHAT?” threads.

    Let’s start by talking about managing weight…
    Poorly or non controlled diabetes results in excess blood sugar. Excess blood sugar is converted to fat by your body. Controlling your diet is the essential starting point…not just carbs but fat as well. Meds and exercise are other tools used to reign the excess blood glucose levels into range. It is a never ending balancing act which we are forced into…24/7. Controlling his blood glucose through diet, exercise and possibly meds can result in a stronger, more efficient football player/human being.
    Those who believe eliminating all carbs/sugar from your diets are just as misled. Your brain requires blood glucose to function. Low blood glucose levels can and do kill many…your brain flatlines. I’ve lost diabetic friends from that as well as high bg’s(blood glucose).

    Hope some of you get a bit of understanding from this

    Love will perform better when he gets his D under control. He’s likely had it for awhile and his performance has suffered

  45. First there seems to be a mis-nomer that if you get ill and can’t do your job, they can’t get rid of you. That is actually bull.
    I remember working for the Feds and a young man came down with Lukemia and could not medically perform the job. They showed the guy the door.
    The reasoning, like it or not was simple, your hired to do a job that requires certain physical abilities and if you lost those abilities you can be let go. There is nothing that says they have to find other work for you and in our case there was none.
    I mean what if he got injured playing with diabetes, the team could be liable for that. Better to just cut your loses and move on. Diabetes isn’t like an injury, you don’t heal from it and come back.

  46. j4man1 says:May 16, 2013 12:22 PM

    The patriots certainly are sending the message that they don’t care about the players just whether or not they can produce – that’s pretty shady. Are they afraid brady’s time is almost out? But you had to play the gay card didn’t you.


    Are you joking! Of course the Patriots only care whether or not they can produce. It’s not a rec league. It’s the NFL. You go out there give someone a few million of your own dollars to get a result and see how nice you are to them if they can’t deliver what you asked.

    Most players get paid more than the CEOs of almost every company. They have tremendous performance pressure and tremendous competition for their jobs. If they cant deliver they get fired, just like a CEO. It doesn’t matter what the reason is they can’t deliver.

    That is what life is like at the elite level.

  47. wimperd | May 16, 2013, 11:28 AM CDT
    Can someone explain how the Pats would benefit from him retiring for a year as opposed to putting him on the PUP list?

    Because it doesn’t make sense to me

    I think the correct designation would be the non-football injury/illness list. And there may be some monetary or other differences.

    If the player retires, then presumably there is no salary consideration involved. And the team still retains his rights. With NFI designation, the team doesn’t have to pay the player his salary since it was not an injury suffered on the field, but teams often do anyway.

    Seems like placing him on the NFI list might have been an alternative to releasing him, but maybe there’s a reason that wasn’t on the table? And maybe it’s because the player was so insistent on wanting to play this year that they thought he’d be better off trying to find a team who was willing to clear him medically?

  48. I think Kyle Love’s agent might be biased. That’s just a guess though.

  49. bearclaw69 – you are wrong. Diabetes is a disability according to the EEOC and ADA laws.

    The Patriots made a reasonable accommodation to Love and Love turned it down.

  50. What a load of crap.

    Could have just kept him into training camp and then cut him and said he wasnt playing well. That would have been better huh?

    Or maybe he can sue the rest of league if no one claims him because he’s being discriminated against

  51. I hate it when there is no real football news and this crap makes headlines.

    Bottom line is he was nowhere near a lock to make the team before this came out anyway.

    And for all the typical haters saying the Pats are classless, would you rather your team field a squad of medically challenged players and go winless so you could at least say your team is classy?

  52. It is possible the Patriots looked at the DT’s they’ve added and want to develop and knew he had no real way of making the team even if healthy….now he’s dropping 50 pounds and getting back to his playing weight, that only provides him average to above average ability in the first place, is going to be extremely difficult and unhealthy/deadly?

    Honest truth is that right now he won’t likely get an offer before camp or during the season unless he pulls something unbelievable off. Retiring gave him the option off a team owning his rights and contract if he does come back next year.

  53. It comes very easy for many to accuse the Patriots of wrongdoing. These haters won’t even consider the possibility that there is reason for concern for the player’s safety. You want to sue them for cutting a player when he’s sick. If he plays and gets seriously injured, you’ll want to sue them for making him play with this illness. As a few posters pointed out to Florio, football is not a normal life. And comparing this to Jay Cutler’s situation is stupid. Cutler is not a D-lineman who need to weigh close to 300 pounds or more. The smartest thing for Kyle Love to have done, was to take a year to learn what he needs to do to protect himself, and then come back to New England. In the court of public opinion the Patriots will never win.

  54. Logicalvoice says:
    May 16, 2013 12:18 PM
    Is his type 2 diabetes a “permanent disability”? If it can be “cured” by losing 50 pounds and changing his diet it isn’t. If it isn’t ADA doesn’t apply.

    Before you advocate a lawsuit or disciplinary action you would have to know whether a doctor classified it as a “permanent disability”. So unless Love releases that information from his doctor you’ve put the cart way before the horse.
    Don’t mean to come off as a jerk, but I thought your whole thing was a joke on this board, but now I know you just aren’t very bright or are too young to know something like this but diabetes is in no way temporary. People can keep it under control with insulin though.

  55. Last i recall, jay cutler was not asked to take a year off or be released. And there you have the difference between the broncos and patriots, one is classy, the other is filled with cheating cutthroats

  56. I have type 2 diabetes and was diagnosed in 1999. It took going on an oral med, losing 75 pounds, totally changing my diet and 10 months to get to the point where I could manage my disease by diet and exercise alone.

    I think what the Patriots offered Love was an excellent opportunity for him to attempt to get his diabetes under control.

    For him to get his blood sugars down to a safe level and maintain enough weight to play football professionally is not going to be a quick fix.

  57. As long as his diet and medication have his blood sugar under control, there is no reason why Love can’t play this year;the Patriots didn’t even do what was best for the Patriots, let alone anyone else. There are Type I diabetics in the NFL currently, and with proper treatment Love should be ready to go for the 2013 season, hopefully , for a team with more competent physicians. BTW, considering how long it takes for someone to see their doctor with diabetes symptoms, it wouldn’t surprise me if he played at least part of the 2012 season with uncontrolled DM.

  58. For those saying a Key Attribute (HR law revolves around KSAs – you can use Google to look it up) is a NT weighing 300lbs, you would have a hard time defending that stance in court. A KSA for a NFL NT would be the ability to occupy space, fend off blockers, etc. The size or weight of the person is actually completely irrelevant. If they can get the job done at 145 lbs, who cares? The NFL is the ultimate performance based league. That’s why guys like Joe Montana (6’0″ – 185) can end up being one of the world’s best QBs. Or a guy like Marshall Faulk, Barry Sanders, etc. can be a world class RB. Or a guy like Sam Mills can be a pro bowl MIDDLE LB at 5’9″ 220.

    That said – there is no requirement under the ADA amendment of 2008 that a disability be permanent for a person to be covered.

  59. bigbenh8tr says:
    May 16, 2013 1:33 PM
    Don’t mean to come off as a jerk, but I thought your whole thing was a joke on this board, but now I know you just aren’t very bright or are too young to know something like this but diabetes is in no way temporary. People can keep it under control with insulin though.


    Don’t worry about coming off as a jerk. Diabetes is serious. But not everyone has a disability. And before ADA applies it has to be.

    Don’t shoot the messenger.

  60. Well, if Kyle Love experiences a heart attack or kidney failure on his next team, maybe you will change your minds about taking a retirement year. Obviously many of you are simply patriots haters with no experience with diabetes. Both kinds are serious and both require an adjustment period. Both can be very dangerous for athletes. They basically told him, don’t play this year and we’ll take you back , we just can’t pay you.

    As far as fairness, after rookie 1st round pick RB Robert Edwards blew his knee out in a beach volleyball game, Robert Kraft paid him his entire rookie contract.

    As far as Jay Cutler, that guy was a first round pick who was diagnosed mid-season and the starting QB playing on a contract with a lot of guaranteed money. I think that the circumstances, the investment, the medical risk, and attachment to the team is a little different. Wade Wilson, QB for the vikes was T1D. Also, Kraft’s Patriots drafted Safety Tony George and he was T1D as well.

    When you have a mediocre defense, you are going to part ways with some of your defensive starters, or else you aren’t going to get better.

    Haters gonna hate.

  61. It’s amazing just how blindly loyal Pats fans are. At this point Belichick and Kraft could be caught on tape killing puppies and Pats fans would find a way to defend them. Telling an employee they can either quit or get fired is not offering a “reasonable accommodation”. Pats fans are so blind they’ve convinced themselves that their team did this for Kevin Love, not to him. I’ve seen comments above where the agents quotes are edited, taken out of context, and re-arranged all in an attempt to make the Pats seem reasonable. They are a low-class organization, there’s no more arguing it, and I’ve lost respect for their fans too. What a bunch of saps

  62. What are the essential functions of a DL in the NFL, and what accommodations that can be made? This is what the ADA would look at…sort of a broad based claim that they should be sued without looking into this further. Cutler is a QB and has a different set of functions than a DL.

    Love was just diagnosed with Type II and may have a program, diet, etc. to go thru before he is ready to go. Maybe this is why they wanted him to just ‘retire’ for the year.

    But in all seriousness they are just looking for a way to cut him as they could’ve PUP’ed him, placed him on the non football injury reserve list, etc.

    More than meets the eye here if you ask me…

    Best of luck to Kyle as this is a nasty disease even when you can control your diet, and exercise.

  63. A soldier or airline pilot other people can die because of his medical condition because you may not be able to his or her job. I am type 2 diabetic I am a 911 operator for many years and worry about it. He is a football player he will only effect himself.

  64. I know most people won’t make it this far down in the comments,

    but for the love of god people do some research, temporary disabilities IS covered under the ADA.

  65. Once again someone is offering up opinion without any regard to facts or their application to the circumstances.

    Kyle Love is listed at 6’1 and 315 pounds. His BMI is 41.6, well above the obese threshold of 30. His BMI and his Type II diabetes are related…this is a factual statement about the realities of Type II diabetes. He cannot get one under control without controlling for the other. The Patriots offered him a fair opportunity to do so (retire and keep your money), and he’s choosing to gamble with his health. The Pats just aren’t willing to let him take that gamble with them, nor should they. As a matter of practicality, he can’t lose weight, properly control Type II diabetes, and effectively play NT. Won’t happen. Something has to give and he’s not willing to give on his career so the disease wins out.

    Lastly, I keep seeing Jay Cutler come up. There is no relationship between Jay Cutler and Kyle Love because they have two completely different diseases, in fact, the only thing the two diseases share in common is the word “diabetes”. One is autoimmune, while lifestyle choices play a overwhelming role in the other.

    I seem to remember someone being hyper-critical of one sided arguments yesterday, yet today is taking only one side at face value without doing any research into the realities of the situation.

  66. I’m sorry for Kyle Love, but how is this different than a team not drafting a player that tore his ACL in college? Or releasing a player whose injury, while fully healed, may likely reoccur? Health (both current and future) is a top criteria for playing in the NFL. NFL teams cut, release or refuse to sign players based on health every single day. A lot of times the players prove the team wrong by recovering well and starring for another team. That makes the original team wrong, not liable for a lawsuit, A health condition is not a disability, stop confusing the two. You can’t play in the nfl with a disability in the first place! The Patriot hate in football has officially reached its ridiculous peak.

  67. @bluestar4ever –


    Reasonable Accommodation

    Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the “ADA”)(1) requires an employer(2) to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment, unless to do so would cause undue hardship. “In general, an accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities.”

    (3)There are three categories of “reasonable accommodations”:

    “(i) modifications or adjustments to a job application process that enable a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position such qualified applicant desires; or

    (ii) modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position; or

    (iii) modifications or adjustments that enable a covered entity’s employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by its other similarly situated employees without disabilities.”

    (4) The duty to provide reasonable accommodation is a fundamental statutory requirement because of the nature of discrimination faced by individuals with disabilities. Although many individuals with disabilities can apply for and perform jobs without any reasonable accommodations, there are workplace barriers that keep others from performing jobs which they could do with some form of accommodation. These barriers may be physical obstacles (such as inaccessible facilities or equipment), or they may be procedures or rules (such as rules concerning when work is performed, when breaks are taken, or how essential or marginal functions are performed). Reasonable accommodation removes workplace barriers for individuals with disabilities.

    Reasonable accommodation is available to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities.

    (5) Reasonable accommodations must be provided to qualified employees regardless of whether they work part- time or full-time, or are considered “probationary.” Generally, the individual with a disability must inform the employer that an accommodation is needed.

    (6) There are a number of possible reasonable accommodations that an employer may have to provide in connection with modifications to the work environment or adjustments in how and when a job is performed.

    These include:

    making existing facilities accessible;

    job restructuring;

    part-time or modified work schedules;

    acquiring or modifying equipment;

    changing tests, training materials, or policies;

    providing qualified readers or interpreters;

    and reassignment to a vacant position.
    (7) A modification or adjustment is “reasonable” if it “seems reasonable on its face, i.e., ordinarily or in the run of cases;”

    (8) this means it is “reasonable” if it appears to be “feasible” or “plausible.”

    (9)An accommodation also must be effective in meeting the needs of the individual.

    (10) In the context of job performance, this means that a reasonable accommodation enables the individual to perform the essential functions of the position. Similarly, a reasonable accommodation enables an applicant with a disability to have an equal opportunity to participate in the application process and to be considered for a job.

    Finally, a reasonable accommodation allows an employee with a disability an equal opportunity to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment that employees without disabilities enjoy.

  68. “It sends a bad message to mid-level managers in other industries who spend more time in the sports pages than the business section”

    I appreciate the shout out!

  69. Mike,

    I am a bit surprised that you are not even entertaining that patriots made decision with Love’s health in mind. I am not a doctor but every medical website lists that “maintaining healthy weight” is critical to lifelong treatment of diabetes one. Here is from the Mayo Clinic website:

    “Maintain a healthy weight. Good diabetes control is easier when you’re at a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor about healthy ways to reduce. Some people manipulate their insulin use to induce diabetic ketoacidosis to lose weight — a condition known as diabulimia. This is an unhealthy way to lose weight and extremely dangerous.”

    I would love to see you find a single doctor who would tell you maintaining a weight of 300 pounds in consistent with treating diabetes. In fact, everything I found says the opposite. The patriots decision clearly helps Love healthwise, since keeping him puts pressure on him to maintain a certain weight that could kill him.

  70. Would people prefer the Pats act like the dirtiest team of all time (the 1970’s steelers) and just complicity allow all of their players to take buckets of steroids and just watch as they have health problems or worse after they retire. Here, the Pats acted proactively to protect a player from himself and yet they are villified?

  71. raiderfan77 says: May 16, 2013 12:29 PM

    Can we now stop talking about what a great and classy organization the Patriots are?
    Coming from a Raiders fan. That’s hilarious.

  72. If the Eagles sign him and retain DE Everette Brown their D-line could be Love/Brown/Cox

  73. I gotta say, I don’t really feel like diabetes is a disability. I mean it is a terrible disease, I spent a lot of time with my grandma who had diabetes and I wouldn’t haven’t considered her disabled. After she lost her foot, then she was definitely disabled. Type 2 Diabetes is really more of a potentially fatal inconvenience than a disability. Unless you believe that controlling your diet and taking a pill is the equivalent to wearing a prosthetic limb.

  74. There’s more to it than simply having type 2 diabetes. It must be a very serious case, or a case taht was ignored forever or something else, because simply having it isn’t debilitating. Ask Cutler.

    Heck, I have it and had I the talent, medically I could play in the NFL.

    So there’s more to this story than we’re hearing at this point.

  75. “Jettisoning an employee who has a disease simply because the team fears that the disease could affect future performance is wrongheaded, unfair, and ultimately illegal.”

    No, it’s not. Guarantee you the Patriots prevail in any legal action. This is football. Only people who can compete at the highest levels are assured roster spots. I applaud New England for not doing something dishonest and fabricating a pretext, which they can easily do and would be almost impossible to prove otherwise.

  76. I cannot speak to what the pats were thinking nor to what Love is thinking but I can talk about my experience and this might help explain why the pats did the things they did and why Love feels the way he does.
    I was diagnosed with Type 2 about 2 years ago. It took me a long time to come to terms with it and actually realize I needed to take care of myself. In the early days I didn’t feel terribly bad so I pretended that I was behaving better etc.. I wasn’t. Then one day I collapsed thankfully not into a coma but almost. The spikes in my blood sugar was causing major chaos. That was roughly 8 months ago. Since then I have been working hard to exercise, eat right and track my meds as well as blood sugar. Treating Type 2 is not just about what you eat but how you exercise. Activity it is a huuuuge factor in controlling glucose. I would suspect that that is why the pats talked about a year retirement. 8 months in, Dr’s care and a trainer and I still have trouble with my blood sugar. I cannot imagine trying to balance meds and food and train to play in the NFL let alone play and where I am now!
    Cutler has been a diabetic all his life, he knows the signs and how his body works etc better than anyone. Love is just starting this problem. I wish him well and honestly I hope he does take time off to take care of himself and learn how best to deal with the it.

  77. Love should hire me as his lawyer. (Yes, I practice). This way, I can tell him he doesn’t have a case and to concentrate on making sure he isn’t dead at age 35.

  78. Can we stop making the Cutler comparisons? Love and Cutler have two different diseases.

    Cutler has type 1 diabetes, which is usually genetic, which means he had no way of preventing it. It has to be managed by insulin and is incurable. So it is definitely a disability. Otherwise, type 1 diabetics can live healthy lives, as Cutler is doing.

    Love has type 2 diabetes, which is almost always caused by obesity. Which means it is a self-inflicted disease and is curable without any medications, so it should not be considered a disability.

    Love should take the time off, get in shape, and come back healthy. No other options for him.

  79. You are misinformed egads69

    a) Type 1 MAY be caused by genetic vulnerability in some patients…but not all. It is an autoimmune issue. The vast majority of T1’s are Dx’ed after they have had a flu. While fighting the infection, the antibodies fighting the infection blitz and shutdown a very specific area of the pancreas…friendly fire for all you CoD gamers.

    b) T2 is not ALWAYS caused by obesity!!!
    Many T2’s aren’t overweight by ANY stretch of the imagination. Many are within guidelines and even underweight. I’ll repeat myself…excess blood sugar/glucose in the body will be converted to fat. The excess weight is but one of the symptoms. His race is indeed one factor so genetics are a factor for African -Americans.

    Your last point is spot on

  80. clebrowntown-

    Sorry if I was a little too general.

    T1 is an autoimmune disease, this is true. It is generally genetic but can be caused by a virus in some cases. My point was that T1 is not self-inflicted, which is almost always the case with T2. And the overwhelming cause (yes, it’s a CAUSE, not a symptom) of T2 is obesity and overall poor lifestyle habits. I think you will be hard-pressed to find a skinny T2.

  81. benh999 – Diabetics are a protected class under the ADA. I can tell you that with certainty from personal experience, state laws are irrelevant, it is a federal law and over-rides. The ADA recognizes explicitly that some jobs are inappropriate for people with certain disabilities. I am guessing that the FAA frown on hiring blind people as pilots but I could still sue the crap out of my employer if they fired me because I lost my sight.
    Since Love got claimed off waivers it is probably irrelevant since he suffered no financial loss but it is further evidence that for all of Bob Krapf’s smiling face of the organization, the patriots is basically a nasty, cheap and unpleasant franchise. Karma will bite them in the arse one day.

  82. Patriots…the NFL’s modern day sweat shop: Exercise your freedom of speech….your out. Want a fair industry wage…your out. Bad health…your out! If they could legally hire children at a lower wage to shovel the snow….I’m sure they would do it.

  83. Right. So Ossie Newsome and the Ravens are lauded for their genuis when they use the retirement route as a way of not having to cut McClain (because we all know they never contemplated cutting him outright….sure) so he can go and get some personal issues sorted out. But the Pats are villified for looking at the same option for a player of theirs that they gave a half million dollar bonus to recently (I mean that shows how little they cared for him. Wasn’t he worth a 600k bonus?) because they want him to in essence take a year off to get his health in order and see if by doing so he can remain a viable player. Whatever. Just gives Florio and every other Pats hater something else to gripe about while.

  84. Type 2 diabetes is not a permanent disability and does not preclude you from sports. I would have made the patriots list conditions on the temporary retirement they offered knowing their proclivities to dump players just before their due date.
    As suggested in some of these posts, loosing some weight can knock you off high blood pressure and diabetes medication. It could also knock him out of his position but maybe not if playing at a lighter weight is beneficial for the team too.
    He will likely not get picked up by another team but should consult an ADA attorney and sock it to the Patriots.

  85. Where is Robert Kraft in this situation? He needs to step in and do the right thing. Maybe the guy can’t play…fine, take him off the roster and offer him a choice of a FO job or release. Retirement? Give me a break. If he can’t play ever again at least you’ve done the right thing and allowed the man to stay employed. Even at a reduced salary like most of us “normal” folks have, it is the right thing to do.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.