Huffpost Sports

Ex-NFL Player: League Pushed Me To Take Painkillers, Then Kept My Kidney Failure Secret

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Former NFL player Jeremy Newberry is facing stage 3 kidney failure after team doctors and trainers pushed him to take painkillers that allowed him to play with injuries, he told HuffPost Live.

Newberry and his lawyer Steven Silverman joined HuffPost Live's Marc Lamont Hill on Wednesday to share details of their lawsuit against the NFL that alleges the league pressured athletes to take powerful pain medications that caused serious health complications. Newberry is one of eight players named in the suit, which also includes former Chicago Bears players Jim McMahon, Richard Dent and Keith Van Horne.

"I played with broken bones, I played with separated shoulders, I played with torn ligaments. I played with about everything under the sun -- anything they could shoot up and numb," Newberry said.

Newberry said it was a common occurrence for nearly half the team to drop their pants before a game and take an injection of the painkiller Toradol from a doctor. When Newberry asked about the side effects of the medication, he said he was told the worst of it would be excess bruising. He claims he had no idea that he was destroying his kidneys because the NFL's doctors continued to give him a "clean bill of health" while they quietly documented the decline in his renal function.

"There were signs of this deterioration in my kidneys back to, like, '04, in my bloodwork and my physicals every year, and every year it got a little bit worse. The first time I heard about it was in 2011 when I ended up in the ER for five days getting treatment, trying to save my life and bring my blood pressure down," he said.

See the full HuffPost Live conversation with Jeremy Newberry and his attorney in the video below.

 
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