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  • 21 Aug

    NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL and the players’ union have two new
    agreements to address player health in the areas of pain management/prescription
    medications ,
    and behavior well-being.The joint agreements, announced Monday, are designed to
    lead to advancement and understanding of dealing with pain and to improve
    potential treatments. The league and union also will add to programs already
    established in education,
    prevention Sheldrick
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    , and overall behavioral health throughout the league.“I
    was hired two years ago and when I was hired I was asked about areas of
    concern,” said Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s medical chief. “And I said these were
    two areas I saw from my knowledge of someone taking care of athletes for over
    two decades. I felt a real need there.“We’ve been working together with the
    players’ union to come up with something that would work proactively for both.
    We have the same goal, to take care of the whole player and in a holistic
    way ,
    and to focus on prevention.”Among the stipulations in the pain management area
    will be formation of a committee of medical experts appointed by the league and
    union that will establish uniform standards for club practices and policies in
    pain management and the use of prescription medication by players. The committee
    also will conduct research concerning pain management and alternative
    therapies.That committee will receive periodic reports from a newly developed
    prescription drug monitoring program that will monitor all prescriptions issued
    to NFL players by club physicians and unaffiliated physicians.Each NFL club must
    appoint and pay for a pain management specialist before next season.All this
    builds on the programs in place.“We’ve had an electronically submitted health
    record for each club in place for a number of years,” Sills said. “Medical
    providers enter the prescriptions they have given to the players. Periodically,
    our medical advisory committee and the NFL Physicians Society would issue white
    paper guidelines around strategies. The important change here is obviously it
    creates a committee tasked with overseeing our educational efforts — the best
    practices around pain management.”All 32 teams now must retain by the start of
    training camp a behavioral health team clinician focused on supporting players’
    emotional and mental health and well-being. The old bromide of “toughing it out”
    when someone has such issues has long been discarded, Sills said.“This is not
    novel to the NFL or to
    sports Trysten
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    ,” Sills added. “It applies across all levels of society at
    all age groups and walks of life, and we know these are issues we need to
    address.”While the NFL and NFLPA have had previous joint programs in these
    health areas, Sills and NFLPA President Eric Winston note these initiatives are
    a major step forward in medical care.“These agreements are positive developments
    for our membership as they will provide new and important resources to help
    players and their families,” Winston said. “Our union has always advocated for
    advancements in health and safety and we think this work with the NFL is another
    important step to improve care for NFL players.” LOS ANGELES (AP)Former Miami
    Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin was charged Tuesday with threatening
    two former teammates who had harassed him in the NFL and with threatening his
    former prep school
    classmates ,
    Los Angeles County prosecutors said.Martin pleaded not guilty to four felony
    counts of making criminal threats and a misdemeanor charge of carrying a loaded
    firearm, district attorney’s office spokesman Greg Risling said.A post on
    Martin’s Instagram page last month showed a shotgun and referred by name to the
    private Harvard-Westlake prep school in Los Angeles that he once attended.The
    post also included mentions of the Instagram usernames of former Miami Dolphins
    players Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey and said suicide and revenge were the
    only options for a victim of bullying.Martin left the Dolphins midseason in 2013
    after accusing teammates of bullying. An NFL investigation found that Incognito,
    Pouncey and teammate John Jerry engaged in persistent harassment directed at
    Martin.Incognito was suspended for the final eight games and sat out the 2014
    season before joining the Buffalo Bills.Pouncey was released by Miami last
    weekand agreed to a two-year contract Monday with the Los Angeles ChargersThe
    NFL’s investigation also found that teammates threatened to rape Martin’s
    sister, called him a long list of slurs and bullied him for not being ”black
    enough.” Martin is black and Incognito is white.Court documents say Martin ”did
    willfully and unlawfully threaten to commit a crime which would result in death
    and great bodily injury” of Pouncey and Incognito. Both Pouncey and Incognito
    feared for their own safety and the safety of their
    families Tony
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    , the documents said.Prosecutors said Martin also had a
    loaded firearm in his vehicle in Glendale, but court papers provided no other
    details.The name of Martin’s attorney was not immediately known. Prosecutors
    said he is due back in court next month and faces up to six years in prison if
    he’s convicted.—