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Which Means More: Their Rights or Their Lives?

February 01, 1986

I am fed up with watching players' unions throw a monkey wrench into the efforts of the professional sports teams to deal with the epidemic of drug abuse.

About 12 1/2 years ago, my supervisor had me put on 60 days' probation because my alcoholism had finally reached a point where it was visibly affecting my job. Thank God there was no coddling union acting on my "behalf" to interfere with my company's efforts to turn me back into a productive employee. It was only the prospect of becoming unemployed and unemployable that induced me to join an alcohol support group and give up drinking. This intervention on the part of my supervisor saved not only my job, but my life as well.

What Gene Upshaw and company don't seem to realize is that a strong intervention program is absolutely necessary to deal with players who are abusing drugs. It is long past time that the players' unions stopped concerning themselves so much with players' "rights" and started concerning themselves with their lives .

MARCIA SIMONSON

Los Angeles

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