Former NFL Players Sue League for Conspiring to Push Painkillers

By Vincent Frank

This might not end well for the National Football League. Hundreds of former players have filed suit against the NFL claiming that the league’s 32 teams obtained and provided painkillers, sometimes illegally, in order to keep players on the field after being injured.

The lawsuit was filed on Thursday in U.S. Northern District of Maryland, and according to the Associated Press, names all 32 teams individually as a defendant. It also lists 13 plaintiffs, including Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Mel Renfro.

From the AP report:

“The new lawsuit also claims that several former head coaches and assistants — among them, Don Shula, Howard Schnellenberger, Wayne Fontes, Mike Holmgren and Mike Tice — warned players they would be cut from their teams unless they took painkillers and returned to the field.”

This is what you would call major news. Unless the NFL comes to some sort of an agreement with the 13 plaintiffs, the league’s dirty laundry will be aired on a grand scale.

Remember, the NFL had been under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for its distribution of prescription pills in NFL locker rooms last year.

In fact, the DEA showed up at multiple games during the 2014 season to question medical staffs and their handling of controlled substances and whether the policies violated the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

This new lawsuit comes on the heels of a similar case that was dismissed last year. The judge overseeing that case indicated that it should be dealt with under the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.