Former NFL linebacker Terry Crews sacked the league—calling it a cult based on football indoctrination and pervasive culture.
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After a new lawsuit against the NFL and the overuse of narcotics was filed Tuesday, Terry Crews appeared on Wednesday’s Sport Illustrated’s daily live show and openly discussed the downside of what it’s like to participate in the NFL.
“It’s really like a cult. I’m going to say it.”
Crews played for numerous teams and saw many different cultures that focused on the same idea: winning at all costs. No matter if he was in the Los Angeles Rams’ locker room or the Philadelphia Eagles, some things seemed to remain the same.
Crews explains the cult comment further. “The NFL is a cult, because you’ve been looking at this motto and this logo for your whole life and you believe in it and you’re like ‘They wouldn’t do anything to hurt me. They never would.’ And, uh oh, maybe they would.” Many former players have started to question leadership’s need to push athletic bodies beyond their physical limits for the sake of profit and success.
Physicians must adhere to the Hippocratic Oath, to do no harm, but athletes wonder if that’s the truth.
Currently, long-term effects of concussions are being studied throughout the medical community and children and amateur leagues already started to rewrite rules to reflect the seriousness. Some aches and pains are expected, but the league providing high level painkillers and other drugs to move beyond the body’s limits sparked some candid remarks from Crews.
“There is this thing where the team kind of looks at [itself] as your father,” Crews said. “And it’s kind of weird, because it’s like ‘You’d do this for the team, right?’” The paternal figure is a staple in sports. Teams publicly reward excellent behavior and will use in-house discipline if needed. So a player completely trusts a team providing things like insurance and health care and in the end “it will always disappoint you.”
Richard Dent confirms Crews’ comments when an interviewer asked about his motivation in the latest class-action lawsuit on ESPN Radio “When one is asked to do this or do that, you kind of do it. Not to say that you don’t know any better, but you’re hoping that the league is taking care of athletes looking to do [their] best.”
The latest class-action lawsuit of 500 players—including 1985 Chicago Bears champions Jim McMahon, Keith Van Horne, and Dent—could back up the original class-action implying the league’s negligent behavior. Many of the players in the narcotic lawsuit want the league to pay for the long-term health effects. Additionally, some of the players overlap—McMahon and Van Home for starters. J.D. Hill claims, “I became addicted and turned to the streets after my career and was homeless. Never took a drug in my life, and I became a junkie in the NFL.”
Official league statement on the narcotic allegations is “we have not seen the lawsuit and our attorneys have not had an opportunity to review.”
[Courtesy Sports Illustrated Now.]