NFLPA files grievance over teams requiring Toradol medical waivers

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith appeared on CBS This Morning Wednesday to talk about Paul Tagliabue's decision to vacate the suspensions handed out in the Saints bounty scandal.

But Smith also dropped another mini-bomb: The NFLPA filed a grievance against the NFL and a few teams for requiring medical waivers from players.

[Read the contents of the waiver here]

"Today we're going to be filing another lawsuit against the National Football League and against some member teams because those teams are making our players sign waivers of liability before they get medical treatment and before they get some shots," Smith said. "And I believe that a medical professional making a player sign a waiver before you provide that player with medical treatment is not only something that is wrong ethically.

"But at a time when the league professes to care about player health and safety, do you think that's consistent with player health and safety?"

Rolling a big-time victory in the Saints bounty scandal right into another lawsuit against the NFL? All right, then.

But that's what the union did, announcing that it filed a grievance against the NFL for allowing team physicians to make "unilateral and unprecedented attempts" to make players sign medical waivers as a precondition to team physicians prescribing Toradol.

The union is likely going after the league under Section 39, Article (1)(c) of the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, which requires clubs to abide by "all ethical rules and standards established by any applicable government and/or other authority." (Emphasis mine.)

"The cost of medical services rendered by Club physicians will be the responsibility of the respective Clubs, but each Club physi­cian's primary duty in providing player medical care shall be not to the Club but instead to the player-patient. This duty shall include traditional physician/patient confidentiality requirements. In addition, all Club physicians and medical personnel shall comply with all federal, state, and local requirements, including all ethical rules and standards estab­lished by any applicable government and/ or other authority that regulates or governs the medical profession in the Club's city."

If negative long-term health issues are a medically-known effect from taking Toradol there is certainly an ethical issue at play if the league is requiring waivers from players to receive the painkiller.

The NFL surely disagrees, which means we'll have a new NFL-NFLPA behind-the-scenes battle to watch as football continues on the field.

Check out the video below to get George Attallah, the Director of External Affairs at the NFLPA's take on the waivers. His Wikipedia comment stands a bit, don't ya think?

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

 
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