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NFL Pain-Killer Culture: John Madden Says Broadcast Announcer Gets Shots, Too

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Jeremy Newberry #62 of the San Francisco 49ers faces the New Orleans Saints during the game at Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans , Louisiana. The 49ers won 38-0. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Jeremy Newberry of the San Francisco 49ers in January 2002. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A day after a lawsuit filed by former players against the National Football League alleging illegal and unethical administration of pain-killing drugs causing long-term health effects, Hall of Fame coach John Madden offered an anecdote Wednesday of the league’s drug culture extending up to the announcing booth.

In the suit, players such as former San Francisco 49er Jeremy Newberry allege they would line up so team trainers could inject them with the powerful painkiller Toradol without prescriptions or warnings of possible side effects. Other pain medications such as Percodan, Percocet and Vicodin were handed out “like candy,” according to lead attorney Steven Silverman.

During his Daily Madden segment with KCBS Radio in San Francisco, Madden said at least one announcer has taken advantage of the readily available pain-killing injections. “I know an announcer that goes down to the locker room to get a Toradol shot before a game,” said Madden.

A number of former football players have made the move to the announcing booth after retiring from the game. Madden did not identify the announcer or say if he was a former player, but he said the announcer gets the Toradol injection because he is in pain.

“I think he goes at a different time [than the players], you know, he gets there early, you know, that type of thing,” said Madden. “But he’s gotten Toradol shots.”

According to the lawsuit, “…the NFL has intentionally, recklessly, and negligently developed a culture of drug misuse, substituting players’ health for profit.”

The players seek financial compensation for the long-term chronic injuries, financial losses and long-term health care for future problems they will suffer.

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