Transcript for 'This Week' NFL Under Fire
Now, our "Closer look," a shocking lawsuit against the NFL. Former players alleging a stunning deception by the league, team doctors, prescribing powerful painkillers without disclosing the consequences. All to keep injured players out on the field. Our experts are here to weigh in, "Usa today" columnist Christine Brennan and former NFL player mark Schlereth. Mark, I want to start with you, you played 12 seasons in the NFL, 29 surgeries, what was your experience with how the team handled painkillers? Well, first and foremost, I take personal responsibility for everything that I put into my body and the teams that I played for, both in Washington and Denver, I had a great relationship with my athletic trainers and with my doctors and I knew the consequences of what I was putting in my body. They made those things aware to me. There were also restrictions. Could you get pain pills? Could you get it if you were injured? Certainly. But those consequences of those drugs were made very apparent to me. There was a gatekeeper aspect, to those doctors, you can only this for a certain amount of time. We're going to limit your access to those things. So, I will tell you this -- from a player's standpoint, I have never been around a player that didn't put more pressure on himself to play injured than the team did and certainly there's a ton of pressure. That's certainly the culture of the team and players do know the risks. But you yourself have seen examples, you talked about the vicious hit that Matt Schaub of the Houston texans took, the doctor says he did a concussion test and he's back in the next series. Right. You have seen this again and again this kind of thing. Certainly, and there's a conflict of interest. I don't think it's a mandate from the NFL for team doctors and teams to deceive their players, but I certainly think that's a team-by-team basis, and in that particular hit, it's absolutely impossible to conduct a thorough investigation or a thorough concussion test while a guy is faced down on a football field. So, those things are league issues and they need to be addressed. This is a certain conflict of interest that goes on to, are you protecting players? Or the team's best interests? Which is exactly what I wanted to ask Christine. What do you think? What do you make of these allegations? Martha, these allegations ring true, what we're hearing from mark is an exemplary story, mark had a great experience in the NFL. Obviously, what we're hearing from the plaintiffs is that they did not. As I said, it rings true, I have covered the NFL since the '80s. I don't anything per Se. I don't know for sure. I know this, the team would keep in Washington, would keep injury information from the reporters. I would have to call a player in a hospital room in one case to find out what was wrong with him. Is that wrong? We don't know. Mark is telling us a good story of his personal experience. But I think we have to listen to this with the concussion story and lawsuit and this -- this is bad news for the NFL. I want to switch gears and move to the Redskins. 50 senators signed on to a letter calling on the Washington Redskins to change the name of the team. Let me get a quick reaction from both of you. Christine, does this make a difference? It sure does. It's big news. The news is continuing, there's there's kind of a akccumulative effect here. I think this is a name that will change[ in the next few years. It will have to. Public opinion is continue to grow against the nickname. Mark, quickly from you, is it time to change the name?p Yeah, it is. There's no question, if you researched the history of that name, it needs to change, you would never go into a conference of native American people and walk up in front of them and rempb -- refer to them as Redskins. It's a derogatory term. It's time to be a leader from the standpoint of the NFL. High schools across America have changed their names. The ncaa has implemented a policy to change those names. Why has the NFL shuffled its feet on this? I don't know. But it's time to change. Thank you very much. Thanks for your insight. Up next -- the president
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