Marcellus Wiley added as plaintiff in drug lawsuit against NFL

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Former NFL defensive lineman Marcellus Wiley has been added as a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against the league that alleges the NFL “intentionally, recklessly, and negligently created and maintained a culture of drug misuse, putting profit in place of players’ health.”

The Associated Press first reported of Wiley’s addition to the suit, which was originally filed in the Northern District of California last month. Wiley joins former NFL players Richard Dent, Jim McMahon, Jeremy Newberry, Roy Green, J.D. Hill, Keith Van Horne, Ron Stone and Ron Pritchard as named plantiffs in the suit, which includes more than 750 former players.

The suit, of which PFT has obtained a copy, alleges that Wiley “received hundreds, if not thousands” of shots and pills from medical staff in his time in the league, “including but not limited to NSAIDs such as Toradol and Vioxx, opioids such as Hydrocodone, and sleeping pills such as Ambien.”

The suit also alleges that in April, Wiley “was hospitalized and diagnosed with partial renal failure” and “had lost half of his kidney function.” The suit alleges that Wiley “continues to receive treatment and frequent medical monitoring for this condition.” The suit alleges that Wiley didn’t have a history of kidney disease before his April illness.

In the lawsuit, the attorneys for the plaintiffs allege: “No one from the NFL ever talked to [Wiley] about the side effects of the medications he was being given or cocktailing. These drugs were given to Mr. Wiley even when, because of potential dangerous complications, they were contraindicated for users with asthma, from which Mr. Wiley suffers. After games, these drugs were given to him along with alcohol.”

Wiley told Bleacher Report in May he was weighing whether to join the suit. The 39-year-old Wiley, who played for the Bills, Chargers, Cowboys and Jaguars in a career that spanned from 1997 through 2006, is currently employed by ESPN.

In May, in response to the initial filing of the lawsuit, the NFL released a statement from the president of the NFL Physicians Society that held that the organization’s members “put our players first.”

20 responses to “Marcellus Wiley added as plaintiff in drug lawsuit against NFL

  1. Can I join in on this? For no reason. I mean everyone else is. They hear the word “lawsuit” and “NFL” and they think they’ll hit the jackpot.

  2. The NFL has responded to this via Twitter:

    We will vigorously defend ourselves from these reckless allegations #TakeAChillPill – NFL (@NFL)

  3. So you’re suing someone for giving you all the free medicine you wanted? That’s your argument?

  4. .

    These suits are the only method players(and fans) have of finding out the behind the scenes truth about what goes on in the NFL.

    Remember, suing the league is one thing. Winning is quite another.


  5. Wiley made a good speech on Mike & Mike. He wasn’t warned of side effects of taking high doses for an extended period. Richard Dent has no feeling in a toe because they gave him novocaine injections every week for a whole season.

    I’ve always thought the NFLPA made it very clear that they care for player safety and long term health of its members – as much (or little) as the NFL. And no one directs hate at the NFLPA.

    NFLPA was a party in denying Mike Webster’s disability benefits (until his family finally sued and won).

    The NFLPA should have had independent doctors available for the players. Even if not in every locker room, available now to consult via phone, fax, skype, etc. Cris Carter used to go to his own physician to consult, other players should take that direction. The team doctor is paid by the team – that’s a direct conflict of interest. He is more interested in getting the player on the field than his long-term health.

  6. Isn’t this the same Wiley that joked on national tv how he duped Jerry Jones into giving him a deal when he was mentally done playing football? Can Jerry sue him back to get that money? What a clown

  7. I wonder if any of the PED’s he likely took throughout his career would have any negative impact on his kidney function…nah.

  8. Meanwhile Wiley will remain on ESPN collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for chatting about said game.

  9. Something tells me, that this is how the locker room would sound…

    Player: I need something Doc, I cant play like this. Give me anything! I will do anything to play!

    Doctor: OK, but if I give you this, there are long term (interupted)

    Player: I dont give a $%^& about all that, just get me back on the field

    10 years later, all of a sudden, “just get me back on the field” becomes “The Doctor didnt fully educate me on the long term impact of the drugs I was taking for the pain”

  10. I used to respect Marcellus. However, all the former players who would do it the same way again but are grabbing at cash because they’ve squandered theirs, don’t deserve anyone’s empathy.

  11. Oh cmon Marcellus. Just trying to cash in. You guys were bbig boys. Don’t tell me NFL held u down and forced injection and pills. So blame urself! You’re not in middle school where their is peer pressure. I know you knew what was being given to you at your request. Even I as a teen knew knew what they do.

  12. Forget about whether or not the PLAYERS were properly informed about long-term effects…

    The DOCTORS certainly knew the long-term effects, and happily kept injecting and allowing players to pop pills.

    That makes them drug dealers.

    That makes them complicit, and by proxy, their employers (the consortium of teams, a la The NFL) complicit in these players’ failing health.

    It’s called “negligence”.

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