Just last Tuesday, three-time Super Bowl champ, and 9 year NFL veteran Rob Gronkowski or more famously known as “Gronk,” announced that his next post retirement move is partnering with CBDMedic. Although it may not be surprising to hear that the NFL’s “Wild Child,” is making this kind of business move, you may be asking yourself why are more and more successful football players in favor of cannabis products?
In honor of the NFL regular season debut tonight, I am here to give MY opinion on this controversial topic. It’s an opinion, so don’t take it to heart. If you agree GREAT, if you don’t EVEN BETTER. I am not here to persuade others whether or not to be in favor but instead educate individuals from MY experience so people can formulate THEIR OWN informed opinions.
I don’t feel that I know everything about this and nor should I. However, I am here to share my opinion because I have competed at the Junior College, NCAA Division III and Division I level, and now currently professional football. My freshman year started in 2013 and after playing as a graduate this last season in 2018, I can tell you A LOT has changed on this matter.
Today cannabis is so much more than something people smoke. There have been so many advancements especially in CBD products. I feel this is kind of the common ground because many collegiate and professional football players believe this should not be a banned substance. From someone who has torn their patellar tendon recently I can tell you there are not too many options when it comes to medications.
After surgery, prescription drugs were a great SHORT TERM solution to the excruciating pain I endured while my leg was in a full leg brace locked in a straight, zero degree position for two months. But pill bottles can only hold so many pills, and you can only take so many pills before your body starts taking a toll.
CBD was a great alternative for me to manage my pain while I continued my other forms of therapy. It not only helped with the pain but also the bruising and swelling that I constantly endured. I was not a cannabis user to begin with so I was very uneasy about trying some of the products. But I’m glad I was open to the idea because it has helped me and my recovery so much.
Many famous former and current football players have become very open to sharing their cannabis experiences and how it has helped them. Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss has told stories about him smoking before every game since high school. 12 year NFL veteran Ricky Williams Jr. enjoys the benefits of cannabis so much he started his own line of products. Even recent retirees like Gronk and Chris Long have endorsed cannabis products because of their benefits after retirement.
What I don’t think people realize is the effects each position on the football field can leave on a players body overtime. It is no different than other regular jobs. Many people experience, back, neck, brain, and joint problems from the workplace. Although football is a game it are some peoples jobs. Football players understand injuries are part of the game so I think they should have the right to correctly utilize cannabis in order to prevent, manage, and recover from many injuries.
Just as recent as this last May, the National Football Leagues Player Association or NFLPA have agreed to study marijuana use in the form of pain management. It is a huge deal for this to happen. For players it’s nothing new, because from my experience from the 5 collegiate and professional football seasons I have participated in, at least half of my teammates used cannabis products both on and off season. I do understand not all users of cannabis use it for recovery, some use just for recreation. Players use alcohol for recreation so why should cannabis be any different?
Another thing that I do think is part of the problem for regulating cannabis is that it is not federally legal. There are teams all over the country and I think that it needs to be legal to make it easy for the NFL to be more in favor to let players use those types of products. But I think after that there shouldn't be any reason for the league to not ban this substance.
In conclusion, I think cannabis can be a great alternative to traditional medicines. However, I do think there needs to be a professional standard to regulate this product just like every other substance used by football players. This is important because if football can be the first to regulate the use of cannabis I think it could very much influence and become the instructional manual for other professional sports to follow suit.
Written by Dominick Grimm,
Former Punter at Cal Lutheran University and future NFL hopeful