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Ex-Players Sue NFL Over Alleged Painkiller Misuse
San Francisco, California (CNN) A group of ex-players is suing the NFL, accusing the league of rampant misuse of painkillers to keep them on the field.
The class action lawsuit was filed Tuesday in San Francisco.
Tuesday, one of the players who brought the suit described the kind of drug use he saw in the locker room.
“That's part of the problem... you know a lot of the time, the team trainers are giving out drugs. None of them have a medical degree. Some of them aren't even licensed, and they're giving out drugs -- they're handing out anti-inflammatories, they're handing out painkillers, they're handing out sleeping pills. They're handing out this stuff all together, and a lot of the time you're taking them on the team plane and washing it down with beer. 'How you feeling today?' Well, I'm sore as can be; I just got done battling. ‘Well, what do you need? Here's some anti-inflammatories, here's some painkillers. You need something to help you sleep? Here's some sleeping pills.’ They just stick them in a manila envelope and hand you, you know... you go through the locker room and everybody had envelopes. Everybody had their own private stashes in the locker room. Because they would hand them out like candy, they would hand them out freely.”
REPORTER: “You ever witness a player who refused to take these drugs?”
“I've seen some people say, you know, ‘I'm not going to take a shot... I'm afraid of needles, I'm this, I'm that,’ and a lot of those people don't stick around. You know, if you didn't do what was asked of you to stay on the field, we'll go find somebody who will.”
The NFL's Vice President of Communications said the league's attorneys have not yet reviewed the lawsuit.