Yet another suit was filed against the NFL by former players on Thursday May 21. This time, the retired players are accusing all 32 NFL teams of intentionally providing players will painkillers and pushing the players to use them. This suit repeats some of the allegations in a suit filed in May 2014, which was ultimately dismissed because of the collective bargaining agreement.
The new suit names each of the NFL teams as a defendant and 13 retired players as plaintiffs. It is, however, brought on behalf of “hundreds of former players.” The players claim the “teams, their doctors, trainers and medical staffs obtained and provided painkillers to players – often illegally – as part of a decades-long conspiracy to keep them on the field without regard for their long-term health.” The suit further alleges that several head coaches and assistants told players they would be cut from the team unless they took the pills and returned to the game.
Included among the named plaintiffs is Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Mel Renfro, along with the widow of Charles Evans who died in 2008 of heart failure at the age of 41. The players’ attorney says “[t]his lawsuit alleges intentional activity by the teams, not negligence. It’s another part of a unified effort to provide health care and compensation to the thousands of former players who have been permanently injured or died as a result of playing professional football.”