Ryan Clark, a 12-year veteran at Pittsburgh Steelers has been in the headlines for a while now for saying that NFL players, including few of his teammates in Pittsburgh Steelers are smoking weed for several reasons, particularly as a means to manage stress and relieve pain.
Clark discussed the subject of weed use and the testing system of the league on Thursday morning on ‘First Take’ of ESPN. He also told that he knew guys in the team who smoke marijuana.
He stated –
A lot of it is stress relief. A lot of it is pain and medication. Guys feel like, ‘If I can do this, it keeps me away from maybe Vicodin, it keeps me away from pain prescription drugs and things that guys get addicted to.
However, people who don’t agree with cannabis legalization consider that it is just a reason to smoke it recreationally.
He expressed his opinion on Twitter also. Clark stated that the NFL is essentially fighting a lost war, and a part of it steps back to their testing, which is quite laidback. Saying so, he agreed with latest comments by Antonio Cromartie, the cornerback of New York Jets, who told that the league is battling a lost cause in prohibiting the product, while also stating the testing system of the league was not all that efficient.
Mark Brunell, an analyst of ESPN NFL gave a diverse view on the subject, different from that of Cromartie and Clark. He told that there was no place for pots in the NFL. He said it is harmful and hurts the functioning of the brain and its development. He also told that weed testing should be random and that it should be conducted more often by the league.
Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of NFL tells that he will wait till medical research confirms to him that cannabis benefits will offset the risks. At the annual Super Bowl news conference on last Friday, he addressed the issue and downplayed the likelihood of the league lifting cannabis from its prohibited substances list.
Players will mostly persist to smoke weed in spite of what the official stance of NFL is. Though, there could be a time when the medical community decides that it is beneficial to the players recuperating from injuries.