NFLPA president DeMaurice Smith lays out key initiatives; comments on Jahvid Best

Posted by ttwentyman on January 31, 2013 – 8:20 pm

DeMaurice SmithThe NFL Players Association has forged a new $100 million partnership with Harvard University to help improve player health and safety, NFLPA President DeMaurice Smith said today at the Super Bowl.

The endeavor is a research initiative that will study 1,000 retired NFL players aimed at treating and ultimately preventing the large scope of health problems plaguing football players and athletes.

Smith also identified three key initiatives that he hopes to implement into the CBA as early as next year, and said he’s prepared to file grievances to get them.

First, the union wants an independent concussion expert that isn’t paid by either side on every sideline to help identify symptoms of concussions and have the final say on whether a player can return to the field or not.

The league agreed in their press conference Thursday and this is likely to happen in 2013.

Second, the union wants to put in place a system that properly credentials team medical personnel and its training staff so the union knows their backgrounds.

Smith used the example of San Diego Chargers team doctor, David Chao, who lost a medical malpractice suit in 2012, but is still the team’s doctor.

Third, Smith and the union are against the practice of teams asking players to sign medical waiver before taking toradol, a painkiller used by athletes.

After the press conference, Smith was asked specifically about Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best and Best’s comments before last season that he’s the “poster child” for the new NFL that looks at concussions in an entirely different light from just a few years ago.

Best hasn’t been cleared to play in more than a year since suffering a concussion in October of 2011.

“I don’t comment on any particular cases,” Smith said. “We look at all of them.

“But the last thing I will say, and this is just me, I don’t believe in the term “poster child.” Every one of our cases is different. I make sure, and we make sure, that we treat every case individually and we try to get it right.”


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 9 Comments »


9 Responses to “NFLPA president DeMaurice Smith lays out key initiatives; comments on Jahvid Best”

  1. By Jack Shepard on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    That was not worth reading.

  2. By Anthony Miller on Jan 31, 2013 | Reply

    Yo it’s a wrap!! Mayhew already has said that was one of his mistakes hoping Best would be cleared. Think about it all these lawsuits from former NFL players now sayin that the NFL didn’t do enough to protect them from concussions!!! If we just look at that alone he’ll never get the clearance!!! Love em’ we’ll all miss em as fans thinking what could’ve been, we need 2 remember that we still are under a black cloud for some reason that we cannot explain!! Next year we’ll bounce back!! GO LIONS!!!

  3. By Adam on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Hoiw could he make the comment at the super bowl? you guys scared me, I thought the super bowl was over already.

  4. By Brian on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    It isn’t the NFL or team that is keeping him from playing. It’s INDEPENDENT doctors that have not given him the all clear to play. It is illegal for the NFL to force players to play without medical clearance, or for them to stop players from playing and earning their paycheck if there is no justifyable reason to stop them.

  5. By Lance Manly on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Best…. Javid Best.

    No denying he creates a dual threat 5-1 with Best, 9-18 without Best.

    That said; we all know he will only last 7-8 games MAX even if cleared next year and won’t be available in the playoffs.

    BUT… if BEST only costs 1-2 million dollars… a 7-1 START would be GREAT!

    Thus; if we can get him cheap and if he can be cleared… then keep him.

    AND at the same time; LOOK for the next RB to replace him after the 7-8 game run.

    I mean come on, a RB gets hit in the head almost every play.

  6. By Joe on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Best should lawyer up. As Mayhew pointed out previously, no other player ever has been denied the opportunity to play when they were asymptomatic. If the NFL is keeping a player off the field because he previously had a concussion and they are worried about lawsuits, then they need to do it with every player, not selectively choose one. The hubris of the NFL is becoming seriously tiresome. Best can’t play, but Tom Brady can, and they don’t have to say why because they know that they are right? Employment law doesn’t work the way.

  7. By Rebelyankee on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Best obviously has access to his medical records and the testing he is taking.

    If he is passing all the proper testing and the NFL is not allowing him to play ???
    Well that is a whole different can of worms, and one the NFL would not want to open im sure. Im not sure the players have a case against the NFL in saying they tried to cover up any long term injuries of any kind. Including brain that may develope playingNFL football. I mean every player from the time they put on those little tiny cleats in PeeWee football knows there is risk of long term injury.

    However a player like Best with proof he has cleared testing but is not allowed to play. Well that would be i winner in court big time for him and his lawyers.

  8. By rockbo1955 on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    lets be honest here why a team keep a player who has not been cleared by somebody the would be better to release best and get barnes ask the nfl about compensation pick for him ! he will never play again! Its not worth it to take a chance of damage or crippling himself for life!

  9. By truts on Feb 1, 2013 | Reply

    Might want to change this article title to: NFLPA president DeMaurice Smith lays out key initiatives; DOES NOT COMMENT on Jahvid Best IN ANY WAY

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