The NFL has made it clear over the last couple of years that they are not okay with their players using marijuana for recreational or medical use.
Even though it has been known to help with a myriad of ailments and mental disorders, the company has handed out suspensions to those players who refuse to give up their bud. But a new story has surfaced to show that many players are fed up and one is taking the reigns to show the traditionalist company what matters more.
According to Sports Illustrated, the NFL does regular drug screenings on all of their players at least once a year. Every year players are tested, if they fail, they are required to go through a drug prevention program. If the player fails, they may face suspension or even termination from the NFL.
Sports Illustrated states, “Marijuana is handled differently from all other substances. The discipline procedures for marijuana abusers are less strict than violations for all other drugs. Clause 1.5.2(c) states that an additional offense is allowed before suspensions are leveled in cases involving marijuana. And up until that point, fines for positive tests are less steep.”
And none of the other players are made aware of a positive test unless the player is suspended or terminated. The only substances that are technically allowed by the NFL are ones that are prescribed by the player's physicians. This is generally opioids that have very addictive properties and can even cause deadly overdoses.
Many players have dealt with this and didn’t want to be affected this way, which is why they switched to marijuana. It would help with the injuries they sustain from playing football but without the horrible side effects that opioids provide. But many players are starting to care less about what the NFL wants, and doing what they need.
Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle David Irving has been having a battle with the NFL for a while over his marijuana use, dealing with three suspensions in four years.
The 25-year-old was “suspended indefinitely by the league last week after violating its substance abuse policy” doesn’t seem to care because of the NFL’s ridiculous stance on marijuana. Irving decided to make an Instagram Live post about his thoughts on his suspension which ended up going viral.
Irving starts the video showing a blunt in his hand with a big smile on his face. He said, “Basically, guys, I quit. I know they're talking about a suspension and all this other nonsense. I'm out of there. I'm not doing this s--- no more.”
Irving continued, “Don't get me wrong, I love football. However, I don't love the NFL. The NFL is not football and y'all need to understand that. What y'all see us do, the game and sh**- that's like, what, 20 percent of all the real sh** that goes on. It’s funny, you know, some people are like ‘oh you're addicted to weed, you’re addicted to this and that'. I mean, sh**. If I'm going to be addicted to something, I’d rather it be marijuana, which is medical- its a medicine, I do not consider it a drug-- rather than the Xanax bars or the hydro’s or the Seroquel and all that crazy sh** that they fed you.”
Irving clarified that him leaving the NFL over marijuana is bigger than smoking a blunt. It's about taking a stand against the NFL’s policies and how they feed opioids to their players without a second thought.
He added, “We got this opioid thing going on and I'm prescribed all that bulls---, and I just think it's bulls--- that we've got to deal with that policy," he said. "Everyone thinks it's about smoking weed. It's not about smoking weed. It's much bigger than that. Much, much bigger. Hell, I have concussions every day. I get to see around the office how that f---s your head up and I feel it.”
In my opinion, Irving is right, it is insane that players are able to get Xanax prescribed to them, but not marijuana. It's awful that for them to aspire to their goals in the NFL, they cant choose the medication that works best for them. Since the viral video, Irving spoke to TMZ Sports about plans for the future that will now include marijuana.
Irving says he has no regrets about leaving the NFL. " I know what I wanted to do, I had plenty of time to think about it and I had to do it. I spoke my mind and I did what I felt I had to do."
When asked about plans for the future, Irving smiled and says he “has a lot going on” in that aspect. He explained, “I've been sent some opportunities in the cannabis world, opportunities to speak about things.”
Irving said he will be an executive producer on a show that will be coming out in the fall of this year. He also said that he might be working on his own strain of cannabis and is excited to think about the name for his product. He said, “It's gonna be that 9-5 OG”, referring to his football number from the Cowboys.
I think it is great that Irving is moving on to other things and it shows that you do not have to be afraid to make things better for yourself and others even when facing a giant corporation who thinks they can control you. Hopefully, the NFL will realize that marijuana use among players would not be a bad thing, and many of them already do it secretively. If they don’t allow it soon, they may just have more amazing players leaving forever.
1.David Steele To ex-player Eugene Monroe, Combine is one example of NFL's bad weed policy. Retrieved March 18, 2019 from http://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/marijuana-in-the-nfl-eugene-monroe-archaic-rules-pain-opioids-combine/16qkmg78eqlds1pisaruwhje27
2.Jacob Feldman Five things you probably didn’t know about the NFL’s drug policy. Retrieved March 18, 2019 from https://www.si.com/nfl/2016/07/11/nfl-drug-policy-substance-abuse-suspensions-tests
3.Pete Blackburn Suspended Cowboys lineman David Irving says he's quitting NFL until marijuana policy changes. Retrieved March 18, 2019 from https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/suspended-cowboys-lineman-david-irving-says-hes-quitting-nfl-until-marijuana-policy-changes/
4. Weed Offers Rolling In. Retrieved March 18, 2019 from https://www.tmz.com/2019/03/13/david-irving-dallas-cowboys-nfl-retired-football-weed-offers/
5.Jason Owens David Irving investigated for domestic violence; girlfriend retracts allegations made on Twitter, to police. Retrieved March 18, 2019 from https://sports.yahoo.com/david-irving-investigated-domestic-violence-girlfriend-retracts-allegations-made-twitter-police-225650255.html