Less than two weeks after the NFL Players Association requested he be replaced by the team, San Diego Chargers team doctor David Chao was fully exonerated from the NFLPA’s protest by a panel of independent doctors.
The ruling is consistent with the support Chao has received from the players since the NFLPA initially called for his firing.
Center and Chargers’ union representative Nick Hardwick said he “completely” trusts Chao, while quarterback Philip Rivers said he had “no complaints” of Chao’s medical care.
The issue is far from over, however, as executive director of the NFLPA DeMaurice Smith still has concerns and will continue to investigate the situation.
“The fact is that despite having previous malpractice liability judgments against him, neither the Chargers nor the NFL initiated an inquiry or provided any oversight of the doctor the team selected to provide care for our players,” Smith said in a statement Monday.
The NFLPA may just be trying to use Chao as a scapegoat to gain more influence over the NFL. On January 31, Smith singled out Chao as an example of why the union wants the NFL to verify credentials of all of its medical personnel. Though the team and current players have supported Chao, it is understandable given Chao’s history that the NFLPA wants him replaced.
Chao has been sued multiple times by former Chargers players, including Ryan Leaf, for malpractice. He was also the subject of a DEA investigation, and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor for driving under the influence. The Medical Board of California is even seeking to revoke Chao’s medical license.