“See, there’s a thing in the NFL called an “injury settlement,” whereby if a player gets injured during the preseason, and the team wants to get rid of that player, they have to cover his medical costs and salary for the weeks he’s predicted to be injured in a one-time payout. This amount can be in the thousands, if not the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and, well, NFL teams don’t like parting with their money.
So what happens when a player gets injured in the preseason, especially if he’s just there to be a training camp body, is the coaching staff starts leaning on him. They know he isn’t going to make the team, but they tell him he has a chance. They tell him that he needs to get out on the field, needs to put the pain aside, so he can give himself the best odds of succeeding. They tell him that it’s vitally important to suit up, since they only have a limited amount of reps to judge players on, and no one makes the team from the training room.
Then they have that player sign an innocuous looking piece of paper, generally in the training room, that declares the player agrees he is fit to play in an NFL football game, and releases the team from all liability.”
The thing is, as cold blooded as it sounds when Chris Kluwe actually writes out the details, are any fans actually surprised? Do we even care? Of course not, NFL players aren’t real people, and even if they are they are living the dream, getting paid to play a game. But it’s not a game so much when you’re left broke and broken, is it?