An increasing number of athletes have been joining the ranks of the celebrity-endorsed cannabis revolution. While some have become vocal advocates, championing the medicinal benefits of cannabinoids, others have been busy founding cannabis-related companies and/or taking on key roles within the existing framework.
With the NFL season now in full swing, Puff Puff Post has decided to showcase some current (and former) footballers who have chosen to actively explore the world of cannabis.
Top draft pick, New England Patriot, Super Bowl champ, and now retired football star, Rob Gronkowski recently entered the world of topical CBD – a substance currently banned in the NFL – and announced his partnership with CBDMedic. Gronk is an advocate for players’ use of the non-intoxicating cannabinoid and believes that it could have helped improve his painful recovery. His mission is to provide the compound’s potential healing capabilities to all professional athletes.
“For the first time in more than a decade, I am pain-free, and that is a big deal,” Gronkowski reported to WBUR earlier this month. “I’m here today to appeal to the sports governing bodies of the world to update their position on CBD, whether that’s the NBA, MLB or NFL.”
The recently retired, 26-year-old Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle has long advocated for changes in NFL drug policy to allow players’ use of cannabis to treat injuries. Irving reportedly quit the NFL over marijuana policy. He maintains that the ban has damaged his health, reputation and career — especially after multiple suspensions from the league after testing positive for the use of THC.
“I choose to medicate with medical marijuana, and now I’m this big drug addict and they’re sending me off to rehab,” Irving said in a radio interview earlier this year.
The former wide receiver for the Steelers who had to apply for reinstatement earlier this year after being suspended for the 2016 season due to several minor suspensions for testing positive for (cannabis) drug-use.
“My way got me in trouble,” Bryant, looking back on his suspension, told Sports Illustrated. “I’ve cut my circles down. I hadn’t really been paying attention to how many people were around me. It feels really quiet now. I love that.”
The New York Jets’ current running back is a vocal cannabis enthusiast who received a suspension while playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2016 season. The suspension was related to testing positive for THC use. After watching from the sidelines for few games, Bell proved that his love of cannabis wasn’t cramping his football style, growing quickly into one of the team’s star players this 2019 season.
“I put the blame on myself,” Bell told the NFL at the time, but noted that he told himself that “after this whole situation is done, you’ll get a better person and a better player out of it.”
Former Team & Position: New York Giants, Running Back
Cannabis Company & Position: Grove Group Management, Co-founder
Former Team & Position: Baltimore Ravens, Offensive Tackle
Cannabis Company & Position: Green Thumb Industries, Diversity Consultant
Former Team(s) & Position: San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, Quarterback
Cannabis Company & Position: Caliva, Investor
Former Team(s) & Position: New York Jets, Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers, Defensive End
Cannabis Company & Position: Isodiol International Inc., VP of Business Development
Former Team(s) & Position: Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens, Running Back
Cannabis Company & Position: Real Wellness, Founder