Monday Morning MD: What happens in the locker room…

The biggest "football" headline this week involved the altercation between rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs and current UCLA and former New York Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi (of the infamous sideline tripping incident). Subsequently, a former Jets team chiropractor leaked a letter to Diddy’s camp regarding a previous “fistfight” Alosi had with Darrelle Revis. I don’t know if Diddy is a “helicopter dad” or if he assaulted UCLA coaches. I don’t know if Alosi is abusive to players or prone to confrontation. I do know if you are part of the team, what happens within the team should stay within team walls and leaking information to outside parties is just not right. The chiropractor who reportedly revealed information about Alosi is no longer associated with the Jets and will likely never be associated with another NFL team. Last year, Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer admitted to being a reporter's source for negative information related to his quarterback and was fired at the end of the season. I was critical of Jameis Winston’s attorney saying his client was “not ready to be an NFL player off the field”. This chiropractor apparently wrote a 2010 letter to the Jets complaining about Alosi’s abusive behavior, the Revis “fistfight” and issues involving her towel and water use. I am not saying this letter to Jets brass was improper. People should speak up when something is not right and especially if it is illegal. What shouldn’t happen is leaking information in apparent retribution because you don’t like someone. What happens inside team walls is sacred. There are strict laws related to what medical personnel may reveal about a patient. However, I am talking about rules of decorum for a locker room here. What happens there should stay behind closed doors. Giants punter Steve Weatherford apologized for violating that rule by posting a video of Prince Amukamara being dumped into a cold tub by Jason Pierre-Paul. After a team gives up 35 points, no offensive player can say “we lost because the defense couldn’t stop anyone”. I would never say publicly a player was soft or didn’t want to play though injury. In my two decades in the NFL, I know my fellow medical colleagues wanted to be considered part of the team. To be part of the team, one needs to act like you are on the team and adhere to rules and decorum. I once witnessed a team physician bringing golf clubs while traveling on the team plane to a road game and that did not go over so well. Even when you are done with a team, what happened in your time there should remain confidential. I certainly relate my experiences in this column but usually without names attached. If I relate a specific story, I have obtained permission from those involved. Some people have suggested I should write a tell-all book and my answer is always no. It is not right that the chiropractor leaked information to Diddy’s camp regarding Alosi. What happens in the locker room should stay in the locker room, especially for medical personnel. (In this slowest news month of the NFL season, I will only be writing abbreviated columns. Enjoy the down time before the season starts.) Follow David on Twitter: @profootballdoc Dr. David Chao is a former NFL head team physician with 17 years of sideline, locker and training room experience. He currently has a successful orthopedic/sports medicine practice in San Diego.
Dr. David Chao
Two decades of NFL team physician experience including two Super Bowls and two Pro Bowls. Providing unique perspective to injuries and the NFL sideline/locker room. Successful orthopedic surgery and sports medicine practice in Southern California.