New NFL lawsuit gets immediate mainstream news treatment

They came for the concussions.  They stayed for the painkillers.

The mainstream news media, already paying close attention to the NFL’s current legal challenges arising from an explosion in concussion lawsuits filed by former players, has quickly pushed to the top of the rundown news that the league faces litigation arising from the dissemination of painkillers to players.

According to SportsBusiness Daily, several morning shows and evening newscasts led with the story.  CBS’s This Morning, ABC’s World News, NBC’s Nightly News, and CBS’s Evening News all had the story at the top of the broadcasts.  On NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America, the lawsuit landed as the second story.

For the NFL, the issue remains a low priority.  For now.  Via Nancy Armour of USA Today, league spokesman Greg Aiello said that the NFL hasn’t seen the lawsuit yet, and that the lawyers haven’t had a chance to review it.

PFT has obtained a copy of the lawsuit, and we’ll be taking a close look at it soon.  The goal will be to explain the situation without jargon or complexity.  That goal, however, could be impossible to achieve.

45 responses to “New NFL lawsuit gets immediate mainstream news treatment

  1. Dependency on drugs is not a good thing. But these are grown men and they are the ones that decided to put these pills in their body or let the trainers administer shots. Yes I know they are doing it for the love of the game or don’t want to let other players or coaches down, but come on, lets put some blame on the players.

    I hate that these players that have been retired for 10, 15, 20, or 25 years are finally doing something. I hate to say it, I think most of these former players are in for a quick buck.

    I sit at a desk at a computer. I am not going to file a law suit against my employer for unsafe working conditions becuase I developed carpeltunnel(sp.) I know it isn’t a good comparison but I know the risks of what I do in any situation.

    These are grown men when they played and knew the highs and lows of the sport and the culture of the NFL overall. If this was high school or college, that is different. Most kids don’t know any better.

    Make better choices is what is comes down too.

  2. I’m one of the hugest NFL fans there is, but you and the NFL have the arrogance that they are indistructable. Greed and arrogance always comes back to bite you.

  3. I was surprised to see the national news run this as their first or second story last night, yet ESPN buried it a half hour into Sportscenter. Normally ESPN eats these types of stories up.

  4. This is like secretaries suing for getting secretary gluteus maximus. Hazard of the job.

  5. Another money grab by ex-players. Whatever happened to being responsible for your own actions? No one made these men take the drugs. Hell, no one made them play the game. If I was the NFL owners I wouldn’t settle any of these suits. Might sound cold, but time is on the owners side…

  6. Never should have settled that ridiculous concussion lawsuit. Do you have any idea how many plaintiff’s attorneys would love to get in on something like a $765 million settlement from the deepest pockets in America? You’re about to find out. MRSA infections in locker rooms, elevated risk of stroke or cancer from increased radiation dosage due to high altitude flights across the country every few weeks, endless allegations of teams “encouraging” illegal or off label drug use, it’s all on the table. And just wait until Michael Sam gets cut…

  7. What I’ve seen about the lawsuit alleges that players were given pain pills by their teams to mask more serious injuries like ligament and muscle tears, as well as broken bones. If true, this is not just a “money grab”, but a BIG black eye for the NFL.

    How many blows can “the shield” take?

  8. Why do so many people not understand this? You can’t argue that NFL players “knew the risks of their actions”. They’re suing because they were lied to about injuries and medicine (or so they claim). By doctors! Thus, they didn’t actually know the risks they were taking.

    If there’s any truth to this, it IS a big deal. The NFL and the bloggers who live inside the NFL’s arse should realize that.

  9. Glad I live in a country where I have the choice to do what is not always good for me. The consequences of those choices are my own.

  10. The lawsuit claims that the league LIED to players about how injured they were and just gave them painkillers and told them to keep playing. These players knew the risks, they did NOT know that they were being used like a draft animal. Nice to see all the high and mighty “take responsibility” those already spouting off ignorant statements. If these accusations are true then it’s a lot bigger than just accepting that you play a physical game and understanding the risks.

  11. Painkillers: Addictive, synthetic, alleviates
    Marijuana: Not Addictive, organic, heals (more-so when not smoked)

    Though anecdotal, I’ve noticed there’s really only addictive personalities: I’ve seen people get HOOKED on sodas, yet I’ve seen other people quit cigarettes cold turkey after 10 years or continuous use. I believe it’s 100% dependent on the individuals personality.

    The NFL’s policies need to adapt (or die) because in this scenario; players are actually putting their health in jeopardy off the field. Unfortunately, big pharma probably loves this stuff despite anything that’s revealed, proven, and even covered in the mainstream news, nothing changes because of their irrepressible lobbying power :/

    I’m surprised the NFL hasn’t already embraced Marijuana with all of the concussion talk & now prescription abuse. In regard to opiates, they’re essentially giving players synthetic heroine on a weekly/daily basis.

    At a time where player safety is the #1 concern for the league, is the NFL indirectly sending the message that they would rather see players abuse synthetic heroine rather than embrace marijuana?

  12. They are not suing because they became addicted to drugs or got hurt. They are suing because teams hid the extent of injuries and loaded them up with tons of un prescribed pain killers.

    The person above used carpel tunnel as an example. Well it sounds like you already know that typing on a keyboard or repetitive motion can lead to that disorder. How would you feel if you did not know this but your employer did? To keep productivity they fed you pain killers, then when the painkillers stopped working they fired you and replaced you with someone younger. Now you have no job and your addicted to pain killers. Id sue too.

  13. Deaths from prescription drug overdoses = 1 every 19 minutes

    Deaths from marijuana overdoses = zero in the history of mankind

  14. I saw Jeremy Newberry on TV griping that his NFL medical coverage ran out after 5 years and that he has to handle it himself. C’mon man,millions made and you can’t afford health care? I guess he missed out on Obamacare. He claimed that he had a broken neck and the trainers gave him pills to mask it. Even Shepard Smith looked at him like he was out of his mind.

  15. If I had a broken leg or my knee was blown, I know my limits and what I can and can’t do. If I can’t walk, I am not going to let someone inject me or take medicine to mask the pain. Call me a pansy, but it is common sense. Yes grown men have a voice to speak up. If they don’t, then it is on them. You are treating these players like they had no clue.

    As children we had adult figures in life that we believe in everything they said. As we grow older, we develop critical thinking skills. It seems like the naysayers against the NFL, they don’t think these Grown men have critical thinking skills.

    Why now do they file a lawsuit. The NFL was is a Billion dollar business 100 times over now, they were a fraction of that 25 years ago. Why now, because of a quick payout

  16. It seems that the league is being blamed for something the players would have chosen to do with their own doctors anyway or even done illegally as many past players have admitted. There’s no way they were coming of the field unless they had to. That is just part of the culture of football and it is how you earn the respect of teammates. It’s also the culture of most sports. There was a whole article in SI recently about hockey players playing injured during the playoffs. It’s not right to later blame the league for creating that culture. Runners take advil after every run, if you pop your knee out the doc gives you T3s. It’s not just an NFL thing.

  17. Doctor: Are you hurt?
    Player: Yeah.
    Doctor: Take one of these and see if you can play.
    Player: Ok.
    Doctor: Feel better?
    Player: Yeah.
    Coach: Get in there!

    20 years later.

    Ex-Player: The Doctor never told me that my injury was being masked by painkillers and that it could get worse.

    Doctor: If you took an ibuprofen for back pain and then you got long term back problems – would you blame ibuprofen?

  18. campcouch says:
    May 21, 2014 10:26 AM
    I saw Jeremy Newberry on TV griping that his NFL medical coverage ran out after 5 years and that he has to handle it himself. C’mon man,millions made and you can’t afford health care? I guess he missed out on Obamacare. He claimed that he had a broken neck and the trainers gave him pills to mask it. Even Shepard Smith looked at him like he was out of his mind.

    I’d love to know what pills could mask a broken neck as well. Lol.

    I do think that many players feel they have the right to blow all their NFL earnings and be on NFL welfare for the rest of their lives.

    I also think the timing of this suit was timed with the hope that the NFL would just pay to make it go away while still dealing with the concussion lawsuit.

  19. So let me get this straight, you want to sue them for trying to help you manage your pain. Wow, how horrible of them.

    Better yet an employer trying to get an employee better so that they can work, I mean that isn’t something that all employers do.

  20. The politicians and legislators are making a big deal out of opioid abuse right now. Even doctors are being monitored by Congress regard to what they prescribe for their patients which is why I showed up with a painful none contusion in my knee and got prescribed Advil.

  21. I just sued my college and Animal House for making me drink too much. They lied and told me it was all for fun and part of the college experience. I had NO IDEA it could lead to trouble. Now I still drink beer and then I ended up drinking all the time. Now I have a beer belly and I find it tough to get off the couch on Sunday afternoons.

    To quote the great John Belushi “who’s with me”!

  22. If the NFL or Donald Sterling had somehow been involved in the Benghazi scandal, the mainstream media would be all over it.

  23. “…just a fleshwound.”

    “But your arm is off.”

    “No it isn’t.”

  24. Sorry people, the players have volition , nobody forced them to play in the NFL and take pills without their permission.

    A bunch of millionaires whiners who are suing because they spent all of their money- and are broke due to over spending.

    They signed those contracts pretty quick when they saw how much they were going to get paid.


    Don’t play football if it is to rough for you, there are plenty of other sports to play.

  25. Of course the media covers it first – that is part of the slip and fall lawyers’ plan. The nfl doesnt even have the brief yet, see now the libs in the media can frame the story and the defendants have nothing to respond to. Their sleezeball law firm is in NJ yet they file in SF gee I wonder why maybe so some liberal activist judge will agree w their attempt to extort. There now I have educated you.

  26. They knew how badly they were hurt, they took the pills to get back on the field. They didn’t want to lose their jobs and lucrative paychecks.

  27. It’s time to start having players sign a waiver if they want to play in the NFL. It’s a violent sport like boxing or bull riding & yes concussions are inevitable. In the past the NFL lied about the severity of concussions on its players & for that they need to pay the piper BUT now current players all know the risks. If you don’t want to risk getting concussions in practice or on Sundays then find a desk job somewhere.

  28. As for the pain killers…Give me a break. Players have always asked for the needle to play.

  29. The problem is there are probably some players who have a legitimate case against the NFL, but like the concussion suit, there will be many more joining just to get a piece of the pie. And the lawyers will encourage as many players to join as they can, because the more that sign up, the better chance the league will look to settle this quickly just to make it go away, and the lawyers will still be taking their percentage no matter how many join.

  30. I went to school for chemical dependency counseling…and I’ve always wondered why professional sport teams don’t have a specialist to help injured players deal with the prescription medication that is being dispensed to them, so they do not overuse or abuse it. Maybe they have that, idk.

    If they don’t, is it not a good idea?

    Counselors and therapists don’t earn much at all in drug counseling…so it wouldn’t cost the teams or league much to bring some in.

  31. If only the NFL had taken care of the ex-players in the first place we wouldn’t be where we are today with lawsuits and the ridiculous fines/penalties for hits. A few years ago, the ex-players came forward and asked for medical help for their ailments and neurological problems. The NFL told them to get lost, and then the concussion lawsuits suddenly appeared. The settlement wasn’t satisfactory to all players, and now we get a new lawsuit.

    We’re seeing the same thing with the cheerleaders who are essentially being paid $2 per hour. The lesson is, take care of your people. The greedy owners and Goodell apparently never learned this lesson.

  32. I know for a FACT, that even in the NCAA they give us pain killers & most of the time won’t tell you what exactly is wrong or torn ect..Not till your playing days are done and you are having trouble bending over, going up the stairs, or even waking up in the middle of the night to take a piss and ur limping, then you get checked out by a dr-X-rays,MRI’s and everything and you find out the truth. I’m sure it’s a lot worse in the NFL but I can tell you that D1 football programs not only give them out to mask the pain but to mask the whole situation. 4-5 years later, a couple of surgeries( if your lucky) and you find out exactly what the pills&shots did to your body-an extra hr of surgery bc there was so much scare tissue from all the injections. This is and will be a BIG part of football untill things change. I know that getting on the field b/c “they need you” isn’t worth it bc”they” aren’t at the hospital 3years later after your 3rd operation, that a lot of could’ve been avoided/handled better by knowing everything and ALL the details right away so you can make YOUR OWN choice.
    Just my two cents and I’m sure someone will rip this post but it’s the truth.

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