RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, I’m gonna admit it, it’s amusing, and I’m not trying to sound elitist or uppity. It’s amusing to watch various personages in the Drive-By Media discuss the DEA raids of three NFL visiting teams yesterday as these media experts attempt to explain to their audiences what’s up here. Why would the DEA do this? What were they doing? And then they explain it, “Well, what they’re after, what they’re trying to find, they trying to find these doctors that are prescribing painkillers. They’re not allowed to overprescribe, ruining the players careers.” That’s not what this was about.
I’m gonna take some time to explain to you what this really was about and what it might mean down the road in due course. Some people are saying it’s tied to the — there’s a class-action suit that a bunch of players, ex-players have filed against the NFL. That they were given drugs that were not explained to them, various drugs that caused organ damage or addiction or what have you, and there’s some ex-players trying to collect financially on damages here. And some people in the media say the DEA raid of these visiting teams, that’s what that was about.
It could be related, but that isn’t what’s really going on here.
RUSH: The Drug Enforcement Agency and the raid of three visiting NFL teams yesterday. The San Francisco 49ers were raided in New Jersey after playing the New Jersey Giants. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were raided after playing the Washington Redskins. And what was the third team? The Seahawks, I think, were raided after losing to the Chiefs or some such thing. A lot of people are…
The news media’s all hot to trot with this and very excited about it. Let me just ask you a quick question that might help put some of this in perspective. Well, before I ask the question, there’s a setup piece here that may be a factor. I’m not sure if it is. But a bunch of former players have filed a class-action lawsuit against the league and teams for prescribing them or giving them medications to allow them to play which ended up harming them.
They allege that they were not informed of the dangers involved, such as organ damage or addiction. Sometimes the drugs were mixed in a cocktail formula where drugs should not have been mixed. The players assumed that the teams were looking out for ’em and doing what’s best for ’em and there was implied trust there. But it turns out, the lawsuit alleges, the teams didn’t care and the doctors didn’t care.
All that mattered was getting the players ready to play, and if it meant pain management, if it meant shooting up pain-killer injections before or during a game, fine. Whatever. Now, that lawsuit’s been out there for a while. This DEA thing was run from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District in Manhattan. I’m not sure the two are connected, because these raids had nothing to do with the abuse of medication.
These raids had nothing to do with that. The only thing that was being investigated (at least, from the best information at hand) and the reason they raided visiting teams, is the DEA wanted to find out if the doctors of the visiting teams were licensed to prescribe medication out of state. For example, you got the 49ers in New Jersey playing the Giants. There’s a team doctor in the traveling party from San Francisco.
Are the San Francisco medical staff, the doctors, licensed to practice in New Jersey and dispense medication in New Jersey? That apparently was the scope of the investigation, and apparently the NFL says everything’s fine and dandy. Nothing was found to be untoward. The larger thing here is, the federal government has got something going for the NFL. There is no question. You’ve got the Redskins name change.
Don’t for a moment think that that is a nonfactor here. It may not be a major factor, it may not be the motivating factor, but it clearly is a factor because we have a federal government that has no qualms whatsoever about reaching its tentacles into the private sector any which way it can, any which day it wants it for whatever reasons it wants to. There’s no question the NFL is in somebody’s crosshairs here.
The NFL is in a lot of people’s crosshairs over concussions, over this class-action suit with the painkiller prescriptions or dispensations, the Redskins name, domestic abuse. By the way, I saw this, I guess, maybe for the second time yesterday. Have you seen this PSA that runs during games of NFL players saying, “No more”? You’ve not seen this? This is kind of a crazy thing.
It’s a PSA and it leads with Eli Manning and then a bunch of players. Some of them you recognize and some of them you don’t, and they all say, “No more! No more! Together, we can do it. No more.” It goes on like that for 35 or 45 seconds, and then the end of it, there’s a graphic: “Together we can stop domestic abuse.” I watched it, and I said, “Wait a minute. Are they telling me…?”
I mean, I’m watching the games. I’m in the NFL audience, per se. I didn’t know that it was fans doing the abuse. I thought it was players. Yet here are the players doing a PSA yelling at the audience, “Stop it! Stop it! Together we can stop it! You stop it. We stop it. We’re gonna stop it, too, and together we can stop domestic abuse.” I didn’t know I was committing any.
It seems like the fans ought to be running the PSA in the locker rooms of the teams. It seems like we ought to be producing a PSA. “Stop it! Stop it!” Me, Snerdley, whoever, should run it. “Stop it!” At the end of it, we’d say, “Stop domestic abuse,” and it plays in the Ravens dressing room, it plays in the ’49ers locker room or wherever we play it. Why are they telling us to stop it? What are we doing?
So, anyway, that’s going on.
Let me ask you a question. In all of the circumstances in which a player is suspended for using banned substances, for example. Just forget domestic abuse now and forget whether or not you engage in corporal punishment of your own child. Just stick now with players who are banned and suspended for using substances that are not permitted. Have you ever heard, do you ever recall a player being suspended for being caught using heroin or a derivative?
You do not, do you?
Have you ever heard of a player suspended because he was found to be using Vicodin or Percocet? No you haven’t. Now, you’ve heard of them being banned and suspended for cocaine, for PEDs, for HGH, human growth hormone. Some of them get banned because they take a diet supplement that’s got something in it that’s not allowed, but never anything to do with opiates. Have you ever noticed that? You probably haven’t. Well, the reason you haven’t is because opiates are dispensed as painkillers just like everybody else gets them if they’re in severe pain, surgical, post-op, whatever. They’re Percocet, they’re Vicodin, you name it, and they are routinely prescribed this stuff.
So you can’t very well have a test that reveals a player has opiates in his system and ban him when, in fact, they are given out in order to deal with the pain and suffering of playing the game. But the teams do not dispense cocaine. They do not dispense crystal meth. They do not dispense alcohol. You’ve seen players banned for alcohol abuse, for DUI, but never for opiates. It’s because it’s used. This is not a pro or con statement. I mentioned this only to call your attention. Here you had a DEA investigation into the abuse of opiates. That doesn’t wash, except maybe from the standpoint are the doctors who are giving it out legally licensed to do so?
But the investigation here looked like it targeted the doctors. Now, you’ve heard of pain killing injections. Those are not opiates. You cannot give a player an opiate, a traditional painkiller, on game day and have him perform, because of the way it works. It does the exact opposite of what they want. They want players emotionally peaked and just ready to go and filled with energy that’s almost uncontrollable and when kickoff on Sunday comes, it explodes. And that does not happen to you if you’re medicated with painkillers.
So what they use on game day is something called Toradol, and it is a non-narcotic. It is not addictive, but it is really dangerous. When you read of a pain-killing injection, any athlete, the odds are it’s Toradol. You may have taken Toradol in your life. It’s not over-the-counter. The generic name for it is Ketorolac. But the oral form of it is not nearly as effective as having it IV or in a shot. And it works. It works like that without any narcotic effect and without any addictive characteristics. It’s non-addictive. It doesn’t promote any kind of dependence or addiction, but, if you ever need this stuff, and if it’s prescribed to you responsibly, your doctor will tell you, “Do not take this for more than five days,” because of the liver. It is metabolized, as all drugs are, in the liver.
There’s a price for everything, and this stuff, it really does get rid of severe pain in a non-narcotic way, but it also can do a lot of damage to the liver and kidneys. In the lawsuit that the players have filed against the league, you’ve heard some players say, “I got renal failure! I got these pain-killing injections. I got renal failure. I got kidney failure.” Toradol is used quite frequently, and I have no way of knowing, and nobody does, how responsibly it’s used. All I know is I’ve needed it. The only reason I know is I’ve needed it. I have to take that. I can’t take any other kind, and when it’s prescribed to me, no more than five days.
I’ve even had a pharmacist, one prescription said 10 days, “I’m not gonna give you more than five days of this stuff because it’s that caustic. It can do that much damage to your liver or kidneys.” So that’s an aspect of this, too, particularly on the lawsuit. But if you’re thinking about this DEA raid and you hear about all the painkiller stuff, just stop and remember that not a single player’s ever been suspended for using those things, or for testing positive. They don’t even test for it. They couldn’t, because they’re standard operating procedure for anybody who is experiencing post-op pain that is severe.