By Ethan Miller ‘23
*Editor’s Note: This article is satire and is not real
Consumer medicine conglomerate GSK has been sued by over 15 MLS clubs for gross negligence and wrongful injury, after dozens of professional soccer players have been left permanently disabled. The culprit: GSK’s newest product, extra-strength Lamisil, a cream for removing athlete’s foot, which is a common fungal infection. At least, that’s what it’s supposed to do. As a result of an incredibly unfortunate malfunction in production, however, the new extra-strength Lamisil doesn’t stop at the fungus- it keeps going to the toenails, toes, and in severe cases, the entire foot. Josef Martinez, a striker for Atlanta United FC, is one of the headliners in the case.
“Before the game, I went to change my cleats after warming up and my feet reeked. It was awful,” Martinez said. “So I went to the trainer, and he had this new Lamisil stuff. I slathered it on, and boy, it stung. I thought, ‘Man, this stuff is good! It’s already doing its job!’ But the tingling never went away, and late in the game my feet got really tired. I kept playing, we won the game, and then, in the locker room, it happened. I pulled my cleat off – and my foot came with it!”
Martinez lost 3.5 toes on his left foot, as well as the toenails and hair, and the entirety of his right foot. He will never play soccer again.
Henry Lorenzen, the lawyer representing the MLS clubs and players in their $2.3 billion lawsuit, says that the case should go all the way to the Supreme Court.
“These players, their families… life will never be the same. They need to be compensated, and GSK needs to foot the bill.”
GSK has been apathetic throughout the trial, with one spokesperson saying to the media,
“It says it right there on the tube, no? Removes athlete’s foot!”, saying each word slowly for emphasis. “Did it not remove the athlete’s foot? Maybe not as intended, but it did do its job, did it not?”
Athletic wear giant Nike has agreed to donate over 20,000 pairs of shoes to the victims and their families in an act people are lauding as “selfless” and “humanitarian”. But to many, even free shoes for life can’t repair the damage.
“I can’t forget looking down at my feet as the toes fell off, one by one. The scars, they will never heal,” choked Seattle Sounders midfielder Joao Paulo through tears. “I’ll have to go through the rest of my life using my hands!”
Upon that realization, Paulo broke down into a sobbing mess, and would take no more questions.
The lawyers for GSK even mocked their opponents, playing Kenny Loggins’ 1984 hit Footloose as the 156 defeeted players hobbled into the courtroom on Friday with the help of crutches and walkers.
“So now I gotta cut loose, footloose, kick off the Sunday shoes…”