Week 11 did not end as planned for the San Francisco 49ers'. No, they did not lose, they beat the New York Giants by a score of 16-10. It was the surprise visit by the Drug Enforcement Agency that received attention at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey postgame. The San Francisco 49ers' were one of three teams to be greeted by members of the DEA after their respective game this past Sunday the 16th (also visited were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seattle Seahawks). While no arrests were made, the DEA is responding to serious allegations by former NFL players in regard to the mishandling of prescription drugs by team medical personnel. A lawsuit was filed on behalf of the former NFL players this past May in a San Francisco federal court house. The most pressing of these drugs are pain killer medications. The lawsuit specifically claims that the NFL and its 32 team's doctors and trainers acted without regard for player health by withholding information about injuries while prescribing an excess of pain killers and anti-inflammatory medication to mask pain and increase playing time. One plaintiff described the distribution of these drugs through his lawyer as "like candy at Halloween" and went on to say that the drugs were even combined in "cocktails". A multitude of former players came forward describing a range of debilitating effects caused by these practices, they range from chronic muscle and bone ailments to permanent nerve and organ damage due to addiction. Although many of these conditions have not been fully linked to the use of painkillers, they players insist it came from the drug use. The NFL has stated that it is not responsible for the medical practices by each of its 32 teams and argues it should be handled by the players union.
Should the NFL take responsibility for their teams actions and put forward some sort of relief fund in order to help the players harmed by drug use?
Is it the leagues responsibility to insure better quality care of its players by better monitoring of the situation and enforcement of new guidelines? or should each team hold their respective medical staff accountable?http://www.sfchronicle.com/49ers/article/DEA-checks-49ers-Bucs-medical-staffs-5897391.php