As the dog days of summer continue on through their late stages, the anticipation for the upcoming season is at its highest level. With training camp already started, fans around the world have begun to tune in to national coverage to try to get the inside scoop. This past off season has brought no shortage of what could be considered, the biggest “marijuana comedy movie” hashed out in real life. No pun intended.
LeVeon Bell, running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was allegedly absent from one or more drug tests in the previous few months, causing the league to potentially suspend the all-pro half back for the first four games at the start of the 2016 year. If convicted and forced to sit out, Bell will have now missed the first few games of the season for the third time in his four-year career. A staggering 17 games, equivalent to an entire season.
Several other names along with Bell have been suspended already, while others have checked themselves into rehab. Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith have both recently been admitted to rehabilitation centres to undergo treatment for various reasons. News of Aldon’s sober stint comes on the heels of a rather unique social media upload of a person, presumed to be Smith, hosting a fire up session which entailed audio of him smoking a joint. All the while denying the public would recognize his voice, until suddenly his name is spoken and the audio ends. Though innocence is guaranteed until proven guilty, in this instance the facts are woven with guilt.
The underlying issue in all of these cloudy situations, again, pun not intended. Is the fact that now more than ever, professional athletes, and NFL players in particular, are veering away from a liquor fused lifestyle in favor of a marijuana induced mind state keeping them calm and pain-free with much less health hazards. Sure they get a little lazy but so does Eddie Lacy after a few Mcdoubles so who’s to judge?
The pressure put on by media and fans is life changing, comparing closely to the expectations assigned by the organization and coaching staff, even their fellow teammates. Some players use marijuana as an escape from all that, no different than a blue collared worker coming home to spark one up forgetting his worries of the daily stress and struggle.
Sadly the NFL doesn’t look too kindly upon this matter, becoming very stubborn and dangerous for one’s career when confronted with these types of problems. Instead of focusing on the PEDs,(Professional body enhancements) the silent assassin, building them into super genetic freaks only to find those same human monsters in a hospital bed not too long after their first rotation of steroids. Now I’m no doctor but it’s a pretty fair assumption that these injuries correlating with PED use is no coincidence. The examples are plenty and would take much too long to list but they are there and there are many of them.
It’s a tough situation no matter what your personal stance is on marijuana, whether it be for medical or recreational purposes. The way I see it, and as a matter of fact as the majority of North America sees it, as long as it’s in moderation, it should be considered the same as alcohol. Placing it on the legal to consume list for athletes all around the professional sports world. It is their bodies and ultimately their health and career they put on the line every day, why not allow them to choose what they put in it, especially something so harmless.
So Stephen A. Smith, Mike Mayock and the rest of the anti-reefer movement in the NFL, I’ll be perfectly blunt when I say, it could be worse so let the players have their “weeeed!!”
Pun so proudly intended.