Don Shula named in painkiller lawsuit from former NFL players

Shula is one of several coaches who have been accused of warning players that they would be cut if they didn't take painkillers to return to the field.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

By Steve DelVecchio

Hundreds of former NFL players have filed another lawsuit alleging that doctors, trainers and medical staffs from all 32 NFL teams pumped players full of painkillers to keep them on the field without taking their long-term health into consideration.

similar lawsuit that was filed last year around this time was dismissed in December after a judge ruled that the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association was designed to resolve such issues. This time, all 32 teams have been named specifically in addition to several former head coaches and assistants.

According to The Associated Press, Don Shula is one of a handful of coaches who have been accused of warning players that they would be cut from their teams if they did not take painkillers to return to the field.

“This lawsuit alleges intentional activity by the teams, not negligence,” plaintiffs’ attorney Steve Silverman explained. “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.”

Why are we picking on Shula? As many of you know, the legendary Miami Dolphins coach has been one of the most outspoken Hall of Famers when it comes to Deflategate or any other scandal involving the New England Patriots. Most recently, Shula took a shot at the Patriots over their alleged ball tampering and said his Dolphins always played with “class” and did things the “right way.”

We don’t know if Shula ever broke any rules that would compromise the integrity of the game, but being accused of threatening to cut players if they didn’t take painkillers is not a good look. It may not be true, but Shula has had no problem throwing shade at the Patriots anytime they’re accused of something.

As Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports notes, Shula would likely point to the fact that all 32 teams are named in the lawsuit. Some would argue that if you combed through text messages and emails from all 32 NFL teams and their equipment managers you would almost certainly learn that the Patriots aren’t the only ones bending the rules.

Shula is an old, crotchety hypocrite — just like his 1972 Dolphins.

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