49ers owner questions union medical survey
San Francisco 49ers owner John York, chairman of an NFL player
health and safety committee, would like to see the union’s study
saying players don’t trust team medical staffs.
He’s not even sure it exists.
York says no one in the league has seen the survey in which the
NFL Players Association claimed nearly three-quarters of its
members don’t trust team medical staffs and are not satisfied with
the way their team manages injuries.
”I don’t know what the questions were. I have no idea how many
players were asked or what the responses were,” York said Tuesday
at the NFL owners meetings.
On the 49ers, York said players, coaches, staff members and
their families use the 49ers’ physicians.
”So I think that’s a pretty good indication that the players on
the 49ers are happy with the way they’re being cared for,” York
The union said in a statement made to The Associated Press it
does not take York seriously.
”Coming from the organization that denied Joe Montana workers
compensation benefits for years, we are not concerned about the
remarks about our player survey,” the statement said. ”The day
the NFL commits itself to taking care of players who have been
injured at work is the day we begin to take these types of comments
During Super Bowl week, the union released its study. York is
perplexed that the NFLPA would conduct its own survey despite a
clause in the current collective bargaining agreement requiring
both sides to do one jointly.
In that joint study, the league and union must agree on who
handles the testing, how questions are asked, and who analyzes the
”When you go and report that there is a survey by only one of
the entities and that it is negative,” York said, ”I believe you
have muddied the waters so much that you can’t turn around in five
minutes to do another one. So there needs to be some passage of
time before we can do an honest and accurate survey.”
York said his committee and the NFL itself has asked to see the
players’ survey and has gotten no response.
One issue the union stresses in having more independent
physicians involved in diagnoses and treatment of players. York
insists that’s already happening, including on a committee for
which an NFLPA medical expert and a league expert choose an outside
physician to make up the panel.
”We have nine medical advisory committees and then we have a
number of other committees that don’t have anything to do with
anybody within the NFL,” he said. ”They’re all outside
York at one point called the union’s study ”a non-existent
survey that is giving data that is damaging.”
”None of that’s shared and you have the information that I just
shared about the 49ers, our players and our physicians and the use
of those physicians – which they are allowed by the CBA and we
encourage them if they want or need a second opinion to do so. I
mean, why am I looking to try to find some outside person that I
don’t know when I have trust in the physicians that are taking care
of our players.”
AP Sports Writer Bob Baum contributed to this story.