By O’Shaughnessy’s News Service February 5, 2014 Just before the superbowl the New York Times ran an editorial on marijuana as an appropriate medication for NFL football players. The Newspaper of Record cited Bryant Gumbel’s estimate that “50 to 60 percent of players smoked marijuana, many to manage pain.” The editorial concluded, “As public opinion and state laws move away from strict prohibition, it’s reasonable for the N.F.L. to do the same and let its players deal with their injuries as they — and their private doctors — see fit.”
It was only a decade ago that brave Ricky Williams was humiliated by the NFL and quit football to protest the marijuana prohibition. He was ridiculed in the establishment media, most notably by the influential CBS News show Sixty Minutes. Williams had done more than assert the benefits of the herb; he said it was 10 times better than Paxil for treating “Social Anxiety Disorder.” Glaxo Wellcome had made Williams their poster child for this trumped-up condition (formerly known as “shyness”). So when he took his Pro-Cannabis stand, Williams was sacrificing not just his NFL career but longterm endorsement money from Big PhRMA.
O’Shaughnessy’s covered Williams quitting the NFL/Glaxo in the Spring of 2004. We also wrote up Sixty Minutes’ second segment about Williams, in which Mike Wallace (a shill for Eli Lilly) gloated that financial necessity had impelled his return to the Miami Dolphins. If and when the NFL allows the gladiators to use marijuana, Ricky Williams ought to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Dave Meggyesy and Mark Stepnoski, too.