While the conversation around cannabis usage in sports, and the country as an entire, has evolved over the past decade, former NFL running back Ricky Williams wants you to know pro football players have been blazing up for quite a while.
In an interview with Mackenzie Salmon on USA TODAY’s weekly show Sports Seriously, the eccentric former running back shared two stories from his profession that exposed how NFL players used marijuana to cope with pain management:
I played a protracted time ago and I played for a very long time. So things have modified quite a bit after I first got into the league.
My rookie yr, a Hall of Fame player on the team, he’s within the Hall of Fame now, invited me over to his house and he gave me the speech about easy methods to maintain yourself within the NFL. And he pulled out some cannabis, crushed it up, split a blunt, opened it up, put the cannabis in there, took a Vicodin, crushed it up, sprinkled the Vico in there, rolled up the blunt and passed it to me. That was a vet, teaching me as a rookie, easy methods to maintain myself within the NFL.
Then there was this at the top of his profession:
My last yr within the NFL, I used to be playing for the Ravens. And one point we were within the playoffs and I used to be leaving the power and there have been guys coming in with a plate stuffed with ‘brownies.’ They [were] going to go watch film, so yeah…
And now, since it’s more legal, it’s to the purpose, why would not you [use it] when you’re within the NFL?
For reference, Williams’ rookie yr was in 1999 with the Recent Orleans Saints and his last yr within the league was in 2011 with the Baltimore Ravens. It wasn’t until the brand new CBA was reached in 2020 when the NFL eased their policies on players’ cannabis usage. Clearly players weren’t waiting for the brand new CBA to get their CBD (and THC) fix up to now.
NFL NEWSLETTER:Enroll now to get football news delivered to your inbox
2022 NFL TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE:Reporting dates, locations, roster cut-down timeline
Williams now has his own brand of cannabis called ‘Highsman’ and continues to be an advocate for cannabis use for pain management in sports.
He believes it’s only a matter of time until NFL teams are using marijuana in an official capability: “I feel in the longer term, teams are gonna be supplying cannabis for the players because they’ve realized it is a healthy alternative [to] pharmaceuticals.”