On the eve of the Super Bowl, a player who won’t even be playing may very well cause the biggest headache for the NFL this weekend.
Dallas Cowboys star linebacker Micah Parsons caused a stir on social media when he claimed that “95%” of NFL teams push their players to take painkillers to play through injury.
Parsons was responding to a Bleacher Report tweet that stated that the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers had been pushing Gary Payton II to play through injury with Toradol injections.
Sad to say it but this is 95% of the NFL! https://t.co/5iRClBasQ7
— Micah Parsons (@MicahhParsons11) February 11, 2023
Toradol, or Ketorolac (the drug’s generic name), is a “short-term treatment of moderate to severe pain,” according to WebMD.
Exacerbating this issue was a comment from former NFL running back Charles James, who claimed in response to Parsons’ tweet that “99 percent” of the league pushes players to take painkillers to play hurt.
— Charles James II (@CJDeuce_) February 11, 2023
To be clear, these are purely anecdotal accusations levied by a current and former player.
But even anecdotes can cause headaches, and the NFL can’t be thrilled that it has to deal with this PR issue right before the biggest game of the year.
The accusation that the NFL is pumping its players full of painkillers to play through injury could not have possibly come at a worse time.
After all, the league just put the Damar Hamlin incident in the rearview mirror. For the unaware, Hamlin, a safety for the Buffalo Bills, collapsed on the field during a “Monday Night Football” game.
While Hamlin has recovered and his collapse was ultimately determined to be a freak cardiac arrest episode, many fans still pondered aloud whether or not some sort of injection had anything to do with his health.
While Toradol wasn’t the jab in question with Hamlin, the idea that the NFL is pushing anyone toward drugs is one the league will want promptly squashed.
That’s because Parsons’ comment comes as America is still in the grips of an opioid crisis — enough so that President Joe Biden was publicly heckled for it during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Speaking of heckling Joe Biden, Parsons has made a habit of stirring controversy on Twitter. Just a couple months ago, Parsons said “We still not voting for you!” in response to a Biden tweet. Parsons ultimately deleted the tweet.
The NFL, meanwhile, will likely try to sweep Parsons’ allegation under the rug as it prepares for the festivities of the Super Bowl, in which the Philadelphia Eagles face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.