Ryan Clark: NFL Players Smoke Weed For Pain And Stress

Ryan Clark

Steelers’ Ryan Clark was on ESPN’s First Take, where he spoke very candidly about why NFL players smoke weed.


“I know guys on my team who smoke,” Clark said. “And it’s not a situation where you think, ‘Oh, these are guys trying to be cool.’ These are guys who want to do it recreationally.”

“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.’ Guys look at this as a more natural way to heal themselves, to stress relieve and also to medicate themselves for pain. Guys are still going to do it.”

Clark also agreed with recent comments by New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who suggested the league is waging a lost cause in banning the substance, while also saying the league’s testing system isn’t all that effective.

“It’s 100 percent true. They’re fighting a losing battle. The testing isn’t stringent,” Clark said. “There is one random test during OTAs and minicamps during the offseason, and everybody will be tested early in training camp. After that, there are no more tests. So guys understand the ways to get around failing a drug test.”

I always respect candor and in this instance Ryan Clark is giving it to you real. The stress and beating that NFL players and their bodies take is tremendous and the medicinal advantages of marijuana have been proven.

I’ve heard the argument that by banning weed the league is encouraging players to drink. With the numbers of DUI related arrests and in last year’s case a death among professional football players, the league clearly has a problem that will need to be addressed more than it has by Roger Goodell, who seem to be using an ineffective strategy of ignorant avoidance.