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Ex-NFL Players Suing NFL over Improper Painkiller Distribution

NEW ORLEANS - OCTOBER 21: Wide receiver Joe Horn #87 of the Atlanta Falcons congratulates former teammate Lance Moore #16 of the New Orleans Saints after the game at the Superdome on October 21, 2007 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints defeated the Falcons 22-16. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images
Brendan O'HareContributor IDecember 7, 2011

Something excellent and potentially revolutionary occurred yesterday, although initial media coverage of it makes it seems more Tea Party than Lexington and Concord. A dozen former NFL players have come back to sue the NFL for "negligence, fraud, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation and conspiracy" resulting from improper distribution of painkillers.

According to a group of players, including Joe Horn (who hid a cell phone under a goalpost once, or Paul Tagliabue's ridiculous apparent revelation that society was crumbling around him), the league and its teams administered Todarol before and during (that during is important) games, a painkiller that reduced the feeling of injury, making it almost impossible for players to know they were concussed.

Obviously, with the anti-concussion movement somehow stalling in the league and media, this is great. A few things about the whole lawsuit make me scratch my head, however.

Horn, never one to hold his tongue or stop talking, has said “We took it like clockwork. They don’t meet with you to tell you what will happen five years later. Had I known that there were going to be complications, I wouldn’t have taken the shots.”

Why would Horn just put random drugs into his body unless he had been convinced by whatever team he was playing for that it was OK to eat like Pez? That is, of course, assuming that Horn was smart enough to not just unknowingly pop random pills before a game without wondering for a moment what they were. He later goes on to say they were never warned of potential future consequences, something that could favor him in court.

Let me briefly get back to the fact that players took Todarol during games. From a moral standpoint, that is far worse than administering it before a game. Can you imagine how void of feeling you have to be to give out a drug that will numb whatever brain injury was just suffered by a slack-jawed player? How did the NFL get to the point where they do more than just say "Suck it up." They apparently were going to make you suck it up, even if blood was falling out your ears and you were screaming with the intensity of an exorcism patient.

Naturally, the NFL's Chief of Oblivion, Greg Aiello, came out and gave a traditionally Aielloian statement:

“The N.F.L. has long made player safety a priority and continues to do so. Any allegation that the N.F.L. intentionally sought to mislead players has no merit. It stands in contrast to the league’s actions to better protect players and advance the science and medical understanding of the management and treatment of concussions.”

Saying the NFL has long made player safety a priority makes me want to go to the highest mountain and shout expletives. That is just a blatant lie and makes me have intestinal displeasure. The NFL will probably fight this lawsuit to the end, the same way they fight lawsuits that accuse them of being cheap with pensions.

How anyone can look at the NFL and not be disgusted by the lack of morality is beyond me. For once, Joe Horn will be a voice of reason.

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