View Full Version : Kyle Love cut from Pats because of Diabetes

05-16-2013, 10:19 AM

How Can The New England Patriots Cut A Guy Because He Has Diabetes?
Kyle Love was the Patriots starting DT until he was diagnosed with diabetes within the last two weeks. Once the Patriots found out, they cut him. Not only did they cut him, but they essentially confirmed he was cut because of the diagnosis, because of the uncertainty surrounding his recovery time. How is this possible?

The NFL and its teams often appear to operate outside the realm of the real world and we accept that because it's football; it is an awesome sport. But this should make you pause for a second: the Patriots fired an employee because he has a disability. Even though the employment relationship between team and player is, in name, contractual, NFL players are essentially at-will employees. The at-will relationship is the most beneficial labor relationship for management because it means employees can be fired for just about any reason. Except those that are discriminatory.

The Americans with Disabilities Act protects against disability-based discriminationówith discrimination based on sex, race, age, disability, etc. covered elsewhere in federal lawóin the workplace and the NFL is subject to it. Whether a disability is recognized under the act is determined under a case-by-case basis, but diabetes has definitely been considered a disability under the Act. The general rule for determining whether a condition is a disability is if it "substantially limits one or more of a person's major life activities." This is naturally vague and unhelpful because it is a law, but it could very easily be shown that Type 2 Diabetes substantially limits a major life activity. From the EEOC:

Diabetes also is a disability when it causes side effects or complications that substantially limit a major life activity. Even if diabetes is not currently substantially limiting because it is controlled by diet, exercise, oral medication, and/or insulin, and there are no serious side effects, the condition may be a disability because it was substantially limiting in the past (i.e., before it was diagnosed and adequately treated). Finally, diabetes is a disability when it does not significantly affect a person's everyday activities, but the employer treats the individual as if it does. For example, an employer may assume that a person is totally unable to work because he has diabetes.
Under those guidelines, there are any number of ways to determine that Kyle Love's condition is a disability. In order to prevent employers from just firing a disabled person, the Act requires that the employer make reasonable accommodations so that the disabled person can still perform the essential functions of their job. For Kyle Love that means playing football, which is admittedly a lot different than sitting at a desk. Still, the ADA doesn't require employers to suffer through a sub-par employee; it just requires that a reasonable effort be made to work with the employee. If an employer, in this case the team, can't find a satisfactory way to get the most out of Kyle Love because of his disability, then the ADA can't help him.

According to his agent, Love lost weight over the off-season, before his diagnosis, but he has regained most of it, even fully participating in offseason workouts. Love and his agent believe he will be 100 percent come training camp. The Patriots "expressed concern about not knowing what Love's recovery time would be." It's tough to discuss what reasonable accommodations the Patriots could have made not knowing the nature of Love's condition, but it's safe to say not much effort was made in two weeks.

NFL teams routinely cut players because they are old, because they are injured, because they are malcontents. It is at-will employment at its "finest." Maybe an older player can't play as well, even despite reasonable accommodations. Same for the injured and angry. But there are avenues available to these victims of the machine that they are not exploring. Virtually every write up about this story had some glib comment about the cold nature of the business side of football. "Welcome to the NFL." The players have resigned themselves to it.

Jay Cutler, a strong-armed quarterback, has Type 1 diabetes, which is the worse of the two types. Cutler was not cut because of his diabetes, though, because he is not expendable (yet). Big bodies on the line are. This is the exact kind of scenario the ADA was designed to prevent and yet players never avail themselves of it. Maybe they don't want to rock the boat and anger future employers (another strike against management practices) or maybe they are complicit.

Maybe admitting to being disabled goes against the gladiator mentality they have operated under their entire lives.

Can the Pats do this? I guess they did...

05-16-2013, 10:25 AM
Yes they can, unfortunately.

The labor laws are ridiculous and very vague. The burden of proof would be on him to prove he wouldn't have been cut anyways. Which would be nearly impossible.

Just took a class on all this stuff, actually.

05-16-2013, 10:29 AM
Yes they can, unfortunately.

The labor laws are ridiculous and very vague. The burden of proof would be on him to prove he wouldn't have been cut anyways. Which would be nearly impossible.

Just took a class on all this stuff, actually.

I hadn't thought about how you would prove it. You are right, that would be almost impossible.

I am guessing Love will have a huge chip on his shoulder for this. If he gets picked up, he will be looking to prove something.

05-16-2013, 10:45 AM
The Pats are a bunch of scumbags and here is more proof of it, as if cheating wasn't enough for people

05-16-2013, 12:06 PM
I am glad they can do it. While I think the Pats suck already and if this is true then it was definitley a scum move, on the other hand if he is good enough to be in the nfl he will be with somone else. I don't want the ada or anyone else making teams keep players they don't want, next you have players suing over being fired and want to be put back on the team or better yet they win a huge suit and it counts against the cap. No, Thanks. This is football and it is not like most business in America and it shouldn't be. Every year these players get on one out of 32 teams and have a shot at their ultimate dream, some only have it for 1 or a couple of years. Keep everything else out of it and let the best fo form the best team and let the best coach and team win. For every team that will make a move like this there is a team that will pick that player up if he's good enough. Its the patriots loss and someone elses gain (maybe ours). It all still works out so the best players across the league are on the field during the season and that is the way it should be. Want to screw that up, get the government involved . In fact to me it makes it more interesting with a side story, I would love for us to pick him up and watch him stick it to BB this year , yeah that would be a great story:D

05-16-2013, 05:28 PM
The Pats can do what they like, as can any team.

If they don't want someone on the roster then they don't have to keep him.

If, and its a big if (Deaderick also got cut), he got cut because of that then maybe they think his health or performance will be affected.

I wish him the best, but teams are trying to put together their best 53 man roster to make a run at the SB. No one should be allowed to interfere with that.