A new version of the NFL’s controversial rule that would force players to use an approved form of pain relief for their pain has been approved by the league’s owners, who said they are committed to ensuring the rule stays in place.
A draft of the rule was released late on Wednesday and it was approved by league owners at their meeting on Tuesday night.
The NFL has previously argued the rule is necessary to prevent players from taking unnecessary painkillers and that the players who don’t take painkillers have the right to choose pain relief.
“It’s time for our players to have a right to safely and responsibly manage their pain,” the NFL said in a statement.
The NFL’s draft announcement comes after the NFLPA said on Monday it had “serious concerns” about the draft rule, calling it a “disgrace” and a “dangerous step towards a drug free game”.
“The draft rule that was drafted today does not address the needs of NFL players and the NFL will continue to oppose it,” the union said.
In March, the NFL issued an update to its pain policy that said players can choose pain relievers “without restriction”.
The new draft rule would allow players to choose between painkillers, alcohol or marijuana, but would not require players to take them.
The union has previously been outspoken against the rule.
In June, it released a letter calling the rule a “biggest mistake in league history” and said it “does not address pain management”.
“While it does allow players the right not to take a painkiller, the rule also gives them the right, and the responsibility, to choose whether to use a pain reliever,” the letter read.
“It’s no surprise that this is a big mistake for the NFL.
The league also has yet to comment on the draft.