Although Ray Lucas has no regrets about playing football, he does blame the league for his addiction problems. Painkillers were as readily available as anything in NFL locker rooms. Nobody warned Ray about the long term health considerations, nor did they warn him that he could become addicted. He built up such a strong tolerance, that he, at one point, had to take 10 times as many pills to get the normal effect. No one said a word. And like we said before, the league and the players union wouldn’t lift a finger.
In recovery, he learned to take responsibility for his addiction, which elicited this response when asked about what the NFL can do to help, during an interview with a New York Times blog:
“It’s my problem,” he said. “It’s true that my tolerance grew because I took painkillers when I was hurt, but the fact is that I chose to take those pills. I want other people to know that if they see their tolerance growing, rather than just upping the number of pills, talk to a doctor and figure out what’s really going on.”
That was the generation of the aforementioned post on the league website, which enraged Lucas. He talked about how he was not trying to absolve the league of all responsibility, he was just trying to encourage other players to get help as quickly as they can.