The NFL once again finds itself in the cross hairs as eight retired players, including former New York Giants offensive lineman Ron Stone, have filed a lawsuit against the league for allegedly suppling them with illegal drugs and painkillers, causing long-term issues including drug dependency. Since the filing, an additional 500 former players have signed onto the lawsuit.
But after 12 years in the league himself, retired Giants linebacker Carl Banks is not one of them, saying he made it through his career with little more than anti-inflammatories and Tylenol.
“I never took a shot as a professional athlete ever,” Banks said. “The time I played, I know for a fact that our training staff with the Giants wasn’t big on shooting guys up. I don’t think the Giants staff was reckless in that regard, randomly handing out painkillers.”
In fact, Banks says, there were several occasions where some of his teammates were literally begging to be shot up, but the Giants' training staff refused to do it. But the players would purposely arrive early enough so that when they were denied, they were able to leave the facility and have the shots administered elsewhere.
“I know two occasions, 100%, where they begged to be shot and the team wouldn’t do it. I was witness to it,” Banks said. “They went and got it done somewhere else.”
Ultimately, the retired linebacker believes if you can't take the pain, the alternative is simple: "don't play."
“You have to have a love for the game,” he said. “I played with pain because I wanted to.”
While he doesn't wish ill on any of his former teammates or former players from around the league, Banks also feels each player who signed onto this lawsuit should be investigated to see how many were casual drug abusers and which, if any, were using steroids or HGH as they're known to break down the body.
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