As the NFL reached an agreement to settle the concussion lawsuit brought by former players for $765 million, Butkus blasted the league for leaving clean players at a disadvantage.
“It is inexcusable to not have HGH testing in place for the 2013 season,” Butkus said in a statement sent to Pro Football Talk. ”If you care about the health and safety of players, you should not play without first conducting HGH testing. Guys playing clean in the NFL are getting the short end of the stick. They are being put at risk and penalized for doing things the right way. Most importantly, young players at every level are watching and paying attention. They are waiting for the players to lead.”
Though the sides were progressing on talks to implement HGH testing, things stalled a week ago. The NFL is willing to have third-party arbitration to determine penalties for drug violators. The issue is that the players also supposedly want Commissioner Roger Goodell to have third parties determine penalties for all issues, rather than allow Goodell unilateral power to determine punishments for violations of the personal conduct policy. That is a concession Goodell seems unwilling to make at this time.
Still, the whole thing is pretty ridiculous. If the union and league are so concerned about player safety — to the point that they settled a suit for $765 million — then why aren’t they determined to implement HGH testing right away?