Back in March, the Washington Post obtained court documents detailing the NFL’s apparent violation of federal laws with regards to prescription painkillers.
That was a pretty big story at the time, for obvious reasons:
Citing sealed documents from a federal lawsuit filed by more than 1,800 former players against the league, The Washington Post reports the NFL was in violation of federal laws regarding prescription drugs, disregarded guidance from the DEA and provided powerful painkillers and anti-inflammatories to players.
According to the information revealed in the documents, team doctors throughout the league testified they had violated at least one federal drug law and regulation while employed by an NFL franchise. One team doctor, Anthony Yates of the Pittsburgh Steelers, testified a majority of the teams in the league since 2010 had a trainer with access to handling prescription medication when they should not have, according to federal regulations.
Unsurprisingly, the NFLPA would have an issue with this, as it should. The union filed a grievance in the wake of the announcement.
Via Bleacher Report:
On Tuesday, Sheilla Dingus of Advocacy for Fairness in Sports noted the filing cites a violation of CBA Article 39 and Article 2, which focus on “non-compliance with federal law and ethical guidelines” related to the “administration of federally scheduled drugs and painkillers.”
The NFLPA grievance states the league has failed to comply with changes to the CBA in 2011, which required league doctors to follow “all federal, state and ethical guidelines” for treatment. The players association claims the “NFL and its member clubs have continuously, egregiously disregarded” those standards.
grievance is likely not going to result in anything concrete happening now, because the NFLPA is generally an ineffective when it comes to protecting their players, but hey, maybe it can be a bargaining chip at the next round of CBA negotiations, set to happen when the current CBA expires after the 2020 season.
The NFL’s hypocrisy on painkillers has been in the news recently as well, when Roger Goodell spoke against the benefits of legalized marijuana as a painkiller substitute. It’s funny how the moralizing only seems to work one way, isn’t it?