SBD/June 5, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

ESPN Analyst Marcellus Wiley Adds Name To NFL Painkiller Lawsuit, Which Has 750 Plaintiffs

Wiley said partial renal failure led him to join the lawsuit
ESPN analyst and former NFLer Marcellus Wiley has "added his name to a lawsuit accusing NFL teams of illegally dispensing powerful narcotics and other drugs to keep players on the field without regard for their long-term health," according to Jim Litke of the AP. Wiley said, "The first thing people ask is, knowing what happened, would you do it again? No. No I wouldn't." Litke noted the lawsuit, originally filed May 20, was amended yesterday to "add 250 more players, bringing the total to 750 plaintiffs." The lawsuit, which is "seeking class certification, covers the years" from '68-'08. Wiley "decided to join former players in this one after suffering partial renal failure in April, despite no history of kidney problems." Wiley: "You can't walk into a doctor's office and say, 'Give me this, give me that, just to get through the day.' Somebody would shut the place down.' But that's what was going on in the NFL. It's easy to get mesmerized. I won't deny that; there's this 'play through-the-pain, fall-on-the-sword' culture, and somebody in line ready to step up and take your place" (AP, 6/4). On Long Island, Bob Glauber notes Wiley "had been outspoken about the lawsuit when it was initially filed two weeks ago." He is an "important voice for the lawsuit, especially given his platform at ESPN, where he appears regularly." He "will continue to draw attention to the lawsuit" (NEWSDAY, 6/5).

UNLUCKY NO. 13: Pro Football HOFer Dan Marino earlier this week withdrew a lawsuit against the NFL less than 24 hours after it was widely reported he had filed it. CBS Sports Network’s Jim Rome said, “So you want us to believe you accidentally filed a lawsuit? Spilling a glass of milk is an accident. Filing a lawsuit isn’t. I’m guessing this has more to do with Marino realizing that suing the NFL would hurt him in an attempt to get a job working for the Dolphins or another broadcasting gig, than it does somebody slamming him into a lawsuit without his permission. Either way, it is a very bad look” (“Rome,” CBSSN, 6/4).
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