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ATHLETIC ASSHOLES
#21


I don't think this is the first time I've read about her behaving in an obnoxious manner.
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#22
NFL PRESCRIPTION DRUG INVESTIGATION
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The DEA is launching an investigation into claims that NFL players illegally have been given powerful painkillers, among other prescription drugs, to keep them on the field, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.

The federal drug enforcement agency is looking into records pertaining to the distribution of prescription drugs handed out to players by trainers and doctors, the source added.

Those records would include documented visits and examinations by doctors, diagnoses and authorized prescriptions written for players. The investigation is described as being in its "early stages."

Depending on what is found, the case could become a civil and/or criminal case with doctors potentially going to jail if convicted of drug-related offenses.

In part, the investigation was prompted by a class-action lawsuit filed in May, 2013 in federal court by nine named retired NFL players representing 1,300 others who claim the NFL "intentionally, recklessly, and negligently created and maintained a culture of drug misuse, substituting players' health for profit," according to court documents.

The players' suit accuses NFL trainers of handing out pills without prescriptions and without regard to possible dangerous interactions with other drugs. The named players in the lawsuit include former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon who, according to the lawsuit, says he got hooked on painkillers taking as many as 100 Percocet pills a month.


"Our more than 1300 clients welcome any government investigation which aims to protect them from further harm," Steve Silverman, attorney for the plaintiffs suing the NFL, said in a statement to CNN.


Full story: http://us.cnn.com/2014/07/14/us/dea-drug...?hpt=hp_t2
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This doesn't sound like it's related to performance enhancing drugs or steroids, but instead pain killers that players would have agreed to take to stay in the game/industry. Right?

Reads more like a malpractice suit against the prescribing doctors, to me.

Anybody been following this?
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#23


I heard about it and I believe it's probably true. Some former players have written about it, even they didn't know the extent of their own injuries at times.
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#24
Thanks, Duchess.

It makes more sense to me now. Just read the original story in the New York Daily News.

Snip:
Allegations of rampant locker-room prescription drug abuse are part of a broader battle over players’ long-term health. A federal judge in Philadelphia gave preliminary approval last week to a settlement that would remove a cap on compensation for players who suffered concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.

Also, NFL retirees have long complained that the disability program the league operates jointly with the Players Association seems designed to reject claims by players physically debilitated by football-related injuries. The NFL, many former players argue, has turned its back on the men who helped turn it into a $9 billion-a-year industry.

The DEA investigation is good news for the players involved in the suit because the feds may uncover evidence unavailable to lawyers pursuing a civil suit, says Robert Boland, a former prosecutor, criminal defense attorney and sports agent.

“Drug addiction is part of a list of issues players struggle with as they make the transition to retirement,” Boland said.

Boland said that while there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests team officials and medical staff encouraged players to abuse prescription drugs, it will be difficult to prove that league officials played a role.

“I don’t think the NFL loves the fact that there is a drug investigation,” Boland said. “But in the end, the NFL may be able to successfully say this is a club matter.”

Full story: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/i-team...z37UFhhjDV
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The bolded parts by the attorney answer some of the questions that crossed my mind when reading the less comprehensive CNN article.

Will these players really be able to pin it on the NFL Franchise/League rather than just specific team doctors and trainers?

If the players' allegations can be substantiated, will be interesting to see how the DEA investigation affects any civil suit settlement and who might take the fall in terms of possible criminal charges.
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#25


Jim McMahon who was the QB for the Bears insists he was made to play with a broken neck, another player has said he played with a broken ankle, there are more examples, this is to just give you an idea. They all say they didn't know the extent of their injuries or that the injury was played down and they were given painkillers to mask the pain so they could continue playing. There is way more protocol now than ever before, particularly where concussions are concerned.

The NFL has a tremendous amount of money. It's a cash cow.
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#26
(07-14-2014, 07:29 PM)Duchess Wrote: Jim McMahon who was the QB for the Bears insists he was made to play with a broken neck, another player has said he played with a broken ankle, there are more examples, this is to just give you an idea.

The NFL has a tremendous amount of money. It's a cash cow.

I understand targeting deep pockets and going after the NFL rather than their respective clubs. If the players' claims are substantiated and the NFL league officials are able to shield themselves from direct culpability, the players can then file suit on those further down the chain.

Seems like this could really shake up the league and cause a lot of finger-pointing and turmoil between players, clubs, and the NFL franchise. I wonder if the league will wanna just make it go away and consider settling -- then work with its team owners on policies to curb the problem (if the league really wants it resolved). With the DEA now investigating, betting some team doctors and trainers are sweatng over possible criminal charges if the players' allegations are true.

Anyway, I don't watch a lot of football. Could a pro actually play through a game with a broken neck or broken ankle? I'd think his judgment and agility would be way off, even if the pain was numbed by scrips.
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#27
(07-15-2014, 10:01 AM)HairOfTheDog Wrote: Could a pro actually play through a game with a broken neck or broken ankle? I'd think his judgment and agility would be way off, even if the pain was numbed by scrips.


I can think of only one instance where I thought I was watching a player play hurt and it was obvious. Cutz would probably be better able to answer this question, he's much more analytical than I am.

I've read in the past, mostly in regards to concussions, that players would lie about their symptoms. I guess one has to have at least a basic understanding of the mindset of these men. Not all of course but I think many would lie in order to protect their job. If you can't play you're not needed. I don't know this to be true but I think it's easier for a club to get out of a contract than it is for a player to get out of a contract.
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#28
(07-15-2014, 10:01 AM)HairOfTheDog Wrote: I understand targeting deep pockets and going after the NFL rather than their respective clubs.

Anyway, I don't watch a lot of football. Could a pro actually play through a game with a broken neck or broken ankle? I'd think his judgment and agility would be way off, even if the pain was numbed by scrips.
Yes. Donovan McNaab, QB for the Eagles, broke his ankle (three places of his fibula) getting tackled on the third play of the game. He went to the locker room, got it taped up, I'm sure popped some meds, and returned to the game with a reported 'sprained' ankle. After the game and x-rays, he was out for the rest of the season. Donnie Mac was usually a mobile QB, and his running ability was severely compromised with the ankle injury, but he just stayed in the pocket and threw the ball a lot. Obviously it depends what position the guy plays, but playing through more minor injury is common.

It's important to remember that this stuff is separate from the concussion lawsuits. That was a major action by a bigger contingent of players, and the NFL has a settlement given primary acceptance to the tune of like 800 million bucks, but not capped, so if more money is needed in the future, they have to dump more in (from what I understand.) That was settled because the NFL as an organization had buried concussion data. The players being given prescription drugs would be a doc by doc and club by club thing, so I don't really see it going too far at the organization level.

Pertaining to the concussion lawsuit, one guy said this about the NFL being able to audit the claims for brain injury/concussion money:
Quote:League owners and executives have long thought that this case was lawyer-driven, with lawyers signing up many undeserving players with form contracts to drive up the numbers. And as someone who received many inquiries from former players, I admit to seeing some of that, with calls like this:
Player: “Do you think I should join that lawsuit?”
Me: “Do you have any symptoms?
Player: “No….but I might. And the lawyers say it’s all contingent, I don’t pay anything.”
Me: “Well, how do you feel about suing for something you don’t have?”
Player: “Well, the NFL got over on me and I don’t feel bad getting a little more.”

I see a lot of bitterness from many retired players about the way things ended in their career, with a sense they deserved more: more playing time, more money, more respect, etc. Unfortunately, this settlement will not answer many of those players’ issues.(http://mmqb.si.com/2014/07/10/nfl-concus...-approval/)

So you could see why while some players actually have cause or need to sue the NFL, others would just be trying to get money. While I would feel bad for anyone who was 'forced' to play through injury, it's more likely they were complicit in playing while injured so that they could make their paycheck. Players don't like to sit out.
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#29
Thanks for the info Duchess and Cutz; really helpful to someone who mostly watches only the playoff games and Superbowl. I'm ignorant about the off-the-field aspects of the sport.

Based on what I know now...

I don't think there's anyway that the DEA drug investigation can be looked at completely separately from the concussion/injury suit if one of the now uncapped on-going health issues covered in the suit is addiction to pain pills that the players acquired on-the-job.

And, I don't find it hard to believe that players who weren't done wrong during their NFL tenures would still toss their names into the list of civil suit litigants -- the same thing happens with all class action lawsuits. Sometimes a fair amount of scammers and opportunists profit off those who have legitimate complaints.

Amazing to me any player could run the ball with a broken ankle (or even a sprained one), pain killers or not. Even harder to imagine any player in any position being able to continue playing with a broken neck, but truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

The thought of players being misled about what drugs they were taking and illegally doped up by doctors in order to maximize profit is disturbing to me, don't get me wrong. But, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if a good percentage of pro athletes would (and probably do) continue playing even knowing the health risks and knowing exactly what drugs they are taking. Don't most of the NFL players make very large salaries, in part, for taking those health risks?

Anyway, if the doctors end up getting skewered by the DEA and the practice of pushing the players to carry on with serious injuries by masking them with pain killers stops, do you think that the game will change? Will there potentially be a lot more players on the field in any given game than there are now?

P.s. If football fans are like us basketball fans, sometimes you find yourselves turning your backs on key players who are out with injuries when the team relies on them. It's not usually right, but it's not uncommon. I bet that kinda drives some of the players to push their bodies beyond reasonable limits, too.
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#30
Football today isn't nearly as rough as it was when I was a kid, there are way more rules, rules that were put in place to keep players safe, for lack of a better word. It hasn't been that long since I've heard people say that if it got any more safe it might as well be touch football.
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#31
Are most of the players named in the suit old-timers?

I guess if football is really safe, the DEA won't find much illegal pill pushing by the doctors -- there wouldn't be a big need for it.

I hope the investigation reveals that the problem is fairly limited. It sucks for the fans when sports are tainted by scandals.

P.s. Donald Sterling has again renewed his vow to fight his wife and the NBA over the Ballmer deal -- in Federal Court. My Clippers are in owner limbo following the best season in their history. Sucks.
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#32
There's a great subplot in the movie, Any Given Sunday, where the old doc is just doping some players with shots and the new doc comes in and goes - that's not right... gets the old doc fired. Then -




And then later, they're telling the guy the full extent of his injuries, like 'you could be paralyzed for life and have serious brain injury if you hit your neck the wrong way,' and he's like, 'but I can still play right? Please. I only need 2 more tackles and 1 sack and I get a 2 million dollar bonus!'

It's fictional, but that's how real life goes too. There was a DT for the Eagles named Mike Patterson - he had a seizure in training camp and was diagnosed with AVM. It's an abnormal vein connection to your brain. Serious risk to play sports, like hemorrhage in your brain causing death risk. This dude literally went around and found a doc that cleared him to play. Started 15 games that season (missed the last game of the season for another illness) and THEN went out and had surgery in January after the season. Wasn't even cleared for Camp 6 months later...

The old days, players wouldn't come out for concussions or would be back on the field in like 2 days, because players and coaches both wanted them on the field. Now, there's like protocols, and they have to see an outside specialist before they can even practice. I'm sure it's the same way with the team docs. None of the old-school 'dope em up, get em on the field' practices. It wouldn't fly in today's PC NFL.
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#33
(07-15-2014, 08:47 PM)Cutz Wrote: The old days, players wouldn't come out for concussions or would be back on the field in like 2 days, because players and coaches both wanted them on the field. Now, there's like protocols, and they have to see an outside specialist before they can even practice. I'm sure it's the same way with the team docs. None of the old-school 'dope em up, get em on the field' practices. It wouldn't fly in today's PC NFL.

Thanks for breaking it down; I'm getting a better idea of then vs. now.

Today I read that five other retired players filed a new suit seeking compensation for their concussions. The lawsuit was levied by Neil Smith, Ladell Betts, Anthony Davis, Christian Ballard and Gregory Westbrooks yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

This new suit was filed against the NFL Union on the basis that the players paid dues and weren't protected and/or were intentionally deceived by the NFL Players Association (the NFLPA) in regards to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The players named former union presidents Trace Armstrong, Troy Vincent and Kevin Mawae in the suit.

The NFLPA responded to the suit publicly. They essentially said, "chyea, riiiight". Here's the official statement:

"This lawsuit has no merit and we will defend our union and our past presidents," the NFLPA said in a statement. "It erroneously alleges that the NFLPA knowingly and fraudulently concealed from players the risks of head injuries players faced by playing in NFL games and practices over the last several decades.

"The NFLPA has made the health and safety of its members a priority and the advancements in professional football on concussion education, prevention and treatment are a result of our efforts."


Full piece: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagl...7cf48.html

Lotta litigation in the world of sports these days.
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#34
(07-18-2014, 10:48 PM)HairOfTheDog Wrote: Today I read that five other retired players filed a new suit seeking compensation for their concussions. The lawsuit was levied by Neil Smith, Ladell Betts, Anthony Davis, Christian Ballard and Gregory Westbrooks yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

This new suit was filed against the NFL Union on the basis that the players paid dues and weren't protected and/or were intentionally deceived by the NFL Players Association (the NFLPA) in regards to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The players named former union presidents Trace Armstrong, Troy Vincent and Kevin Mawae in the suit.

The NFLPA responded to the suit publicly. They essentially said, "chyea, riiiight".
Full piece: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagl...7cf48.html
Christian Ballard? That dude was drafted in 2011... ridiculous. I don't even know Greg Westbrooks, but according to wikipedia he's 61 years old? Was there even an NFLPA when he played? I hate cash grab lawsuits. There was one a couple weeks ago that like, used Dan Marino's name to make headlines. He came out and said he wanted to be removed from the suit, saying he'd just agreed to register for protection in case he developed brain injury symptoms or something... ugh.

In case you wondered why it was on Philly.com, Troy Vincent was an Eagles CB for like 8 seasons, and was the Pres of the NFLPA from 2004 to 2008.
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#35
NFL VS. NBA -- BEAT DOWN AT DA CLUB

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Jo-Lonn Dunbar VS. Donte Greene

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Donte Greene were arrested outside of Dream Nightclub early Sunday morning on charges of battery and disorderly conduct after getting in a physical altercation while exiting the club.

Dunbar is a six-year veteran of the National Football League and currently plays for the St. Louis Rams. Greene is a former first-round draft pick who is trying to make a comeback into the NBA after playing out of the league for the last two seasons.

According to the Miami Beach Police Department the two men were arguing as they exited Dream Nightclub at approximately 5:20 A.M. Club security tried to keep Dunbar and Greene apart and one of the players started walking away with a group of friends as a couple Miami Beach Police Officers in full uniforms stood by.

The verbal insults continued and security was unable to hold back the group that stayed by the club exit. The group chased down the others and a large scale brawl ensued that had several of the people involved exchanging punches.

Ignoring orders from police to stop, Greene came up behind Dunbar and started punching him in the head and neck area. Greene was told by police that if he didn’t stop an officer would use his Taser, but ignored the warning.

An officer then proceeded to fire his Taser at Greene Guns , striking him in the lower back and buttocks. Police said after the others saw Greene hit by the Taser, the fight quickly ended.

According to Miami Beach P.D., Greene later apologized for his actions, saying “I’m sorry officer but this guy [Dunbar] has been after me for years since I got into the NBA. He was beating my brother and I had to do what I did.” Dunbar claimed that he was just defending himself.

The Rams released the following statement when reached for comment:
“We are aware of alleged incident involving JoLonn Dunbar and are still gathering information. Per team policy, we will have no further comment until the matter is resolved.”


Ref: http://miami.cbslocal.com/2014/07/21/tas...-athletes/
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Naturally, the NBA dude is more likely to be in the right than the NFL dude. Still, I pity both the fools -- risking their lucrative opportunities over idiotic brawls.
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#36
(07-21-2014, 10:35 PM)HairOfTheDog Wrote: Naturally, the NBA dude is more likely to be in the right than the NFL dude.


Doubtful. NFL trumps NBA.
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#37
The NBA dude was the one who walked up behind the NFL dude and hit him in the back. It was the NBA dude that got tazed.

I think it sounds like Greene is just an asshole.
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#38


They're everywhere.
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#39
Yeah, it does sound like Greene is an asshole. Terrible timing to display his assholery too.

Greene was a top draft pick a couple of years back and didn't perform up to expectations. For the last two seasons, he was playing in China and then came back and played well with the NJ Nets in summer league. He's hoping to get his foot back in the door in the NBA and recently told interviewers that he now has a much more mature outlook and has regained his love for the game.

I don't know anything about Dunbar, only what I read after the altercation. Judging from his pic, you'd have to be kinda crazy to mess with the guy. He's reportedly just returned to the Rams after being suspended for the first four games of last season for violating the league's performance-enhancing substances policy.

Each were arrested and face charges of battery and disorderly conduct -- not career busters, but certainly not helpful in their comeback attempts.
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#40
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TEMPE, Ariz. - A Philadelphia Eagles professional football player is facing charges in Arizona after authorities say he pushed a police officer investigating a bar brawl.

Officials said 24-year-old Keelan Johnson, a rookiesafety, was arrested early Saturday following a confrontation with officers outside Zuma Grill in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe, home of Arizona State University. Johnson played in 49 games for the school.

CBS affiliate KPHO reports police were in the process of arresting Johnson's "associate" on charges of fighting inside the bar when the football player "and his associates continued to yell over the officers conducting the interviews," according to a probable cause statement. A uniformed police officer then "used a directional contact with his right arm to Johnson's chest to get him to move back while giving him commands to move back."

The probable cause statement says Johnson "violently pushed" the officer in the chest, causing him to strike his head against a tree. Police say Johnson appeared drunk and refused officers' orders.

During police questioning, Johnson admitted to pushing a uniformed police officer "because the officer pushed him and he didn't feel the officers had a right to ask him, tell him, and then make him move from where he was standing," the court document said.

According to court paperwork, Johnson appeared intoxicated.

Johnson has been charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Eagles spokesman Derak Boyko said the team is disappointed in Johnson's arrest but is still trying to gather the facts.


http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cops-philade...izona-bar/
http://www.kpho.com/story/26074232/eagle...pe-officer
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