WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of retired NFL players says in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that the league, thirsty for profits, illegally supplied them with risky narcotics and other painkillers that numbed their injuries for games and led to medical complications down the road.
The lawsuit alleges that the league obtained and administered the drugs illegally, without prescriptions and without warning players of their potential side effects, to speed the return of injured players to the field and maximize profits.
Players also say they were never told about broken legs and ankles and instead were fed pills to mask the pain. One says that instead of surgery, he was given anti-inflammatories and skipped practices so he could play in money-making games. And others say that after years of free pills from the NFL, they retired from the league addicted to the painkillers.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, in Atlanta for the league's spring meetings, said: "We have not seen the lawsuit and our attorneys have not had an opportunity to review it."
The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, and a copy was shared with The Associated Press ahead of the filing.
(Photo: Nick Laham / 2012 Getty Images)