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Toradol waiver sends players to Wikipedia for more info


It appears, as one PFT reader pointed out on Twitter, that December 12 is the official date for Festivus, since the NFLPA picked that day for the airing of grievances.

But the grievance aired on Wednesday is an important one, regarding the efforts of teams and their doctors to avoid liability for the potential consequences from the use of Toradol, a non-narcotic administered by shot to relieve any and all pain a player is experiencing.

PFT has obtained a copy of the three-page waiver that players are asked to sign before receiving the Toradol shot. The first paragraph summarizes broadly some of the major risks. The second paragraph refers the players for more information to, yes, the Wikipedia page for the drug.

The rest of the document contains a through but convoluted overview of the recommendations made by the NFL’s Toradol Task Force, a series of boxes to check regarding the player’s medical history, and a lengthy release from liability written in legalese.

As a practical matter, the players who want the shot won’t be studying the document and conducting research and contemplating risks and weighing alternatives. They just want the shot. So like clicking “yes” at the bottom of the never ending terms-of-service scroll for the latest iTunes update, the players will do whatever they have to do to get the shot.

Since the players are far more concerned about playing than the potential complications from taking the drug that allows them to play, the league needs to be far more concerned about ensuring the health of the players than limiting or avoiding liability if there’s a health consequence. And if the league wants players to make truly informed judgments about whether to take Toradol, the league needs to do a much better job of making the risks known that providing them a link to Wikipedia.

Then again, maybe the league doesn’t want them to truly understand the risks. Maybe the league wants them to just sign the document and take the shot, so that they can suit up and play. What better way to do that than to put in front of them a three-page, single-spaced alphabet junkyard that they’ll quickly sign and say, “Give me my shot”?