It’s the NFL’s summer of weed. More former players than ever are crediting cannabis for saving them from football’s mental and physical tolls — including dementia and death — while the league remains steadfast in its insistence that marijuana use be banned, and its users be banished from the league.
In the midst of all this, one of the greatest wide receivers to play in the NFL has simple advice for the league’s rulemakers.
Lighten up, and let them smoke.
The NFL needs to “loosen up,” future Hall-of-Famer Randy Moss said.
“I think the NFL just needs to loosen up the rules and let everybody live,” Moss said during an appearance on Monday Morning Quarterback.
Just last week, former running back and drug pariah Ricky Williams said cannabis use quelled his anxiety and allowed him to play through pain. His former teammate Kyle Turley credits marijuana for getting him off prescription painkillers and, possibly, saving him from suicide. And former quarterback Jake Plummer also credits cannabis for keeping his post-playing career life together.
That’s the environment in which NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell continues to say the NFL’s policy — which is intended to protect the “long-term health of our players,” he said with a straight face during the run-up to the Super Bowl — that bans cannabis will likely stay put.
Recent famous pot casualties in the NFL include wide receiver Josh Gordon, who has not played since 2014 after failing drug tests, and draftee Laremy Tunsil, who saw his draft stock plummet — costing him money — after video of him appearing to smoke from a gas mask bong was posted to his Twitter account.
Drug use has long been considered a “character issue” for would-be players in the NFL (where the madness and paranoia from post-concussion syndrome is a common reward for “character” guys). Moss had smart words for that, too.
“My definition of “character issues” is based on if a guy is hurting his teammates. I think when you are caught on camera smoking something or slamming a six-pack of beer, that’s not a character issue.”
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