Pro athletes playing for any team in D.C. - the Nationals, Capitals, Wizards, Mystics, D.C. United, D League basketball, you name it - are entitled to D.C. workers comp benefits when they get hurt. So pro athletes can get benefits for career ending injuries, permanent injuries, loss of work from injuries and medical treatment, even after they have finished playing.
There is a lot of publicity about medical treatment for players while they are recovering from injuries. Obviously team doctors and trainers want to get the player back to playing as soon as possible and all leagues have some sort of injured list or time off for injuries to recover and heal.
Naturally, there is some controversy too - when you earn your living playing professionally and know your career is limited to begin with, you can only play so long, the treatment you get should be cutting edge.
And there is always a debate among medical researchers about evidence based medicine - some people think without extensive testing and studies, certain therapies shouldn't be used, can't be proven to work and may just give a placebo effect. Those are usually researchers who've never had a serious injury to recover from, and their career doesn't depend on being able to play a sport at the highest level.
And many of them love to comment on therapies and treatments in specific cases, even though they never exam the player or know the specific injury, treatment or the game.
So The Washington Post had an interesting article on the Nats' Max Scherzer recently in their Health section (I prefer reading about him in the Sports section). It dealt with a recent injury he had and stem cell injections to help recover from the injury. But the article wasn't really about Max, it was about all of the hand-wringing and "worry" from doctors and "ethicists" (really - ethicists?) that "pro athletes are misleading the public into thinking the costly, controversial shots are an accepted, approved treatment."
I think the word costly says it best, don't you?
Let's calm down. Pro athletes aren't misleading us. They're doing everything they can to get back on the field.
If your paycheck depends on being physically healthy after an injury, not just as a professional athlete, but as a construction worker, steamfitter, electrician, plumber, etc. and the treatment helps you heal faster and get back to playing or working sooner, why wouldn't you do that?
And why would you listen to the critics if it works for you?
That's a good lesson for all of us - we can make our own decisions.
If you're a professional athlete hurt playing for a D.C. team and need more information on what workers comp benefits can do for you and your family, just call us at (202) 393 - 3320. We're happy to talk it through. Plus, we're not agents, we don't get involved in contracts, endorsements or all the things your agent does - we can certainly work with him or her, but we only focus on the injuries.