Recently retired NFL tight end Martellus Bennett said on the NFL Channel on Wednesday that he believes about 90 percent of the players in the National Football League use marijuana.
When Bennett was asked if the number of players who use marijuana is over or under 70 percent, he answered with “over” before estimating the actual figure to be somewhere around “89 percent.”
“There’s medical marijuana,” said Bennett, who played 10 seasons in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers. “So it’s like, there’s times of the year where your body just hurts so bad that you don’t want to just be popping pills all the time.
“That sh–, it ruins your liver. There’s a lot of these anti-inflammatories that you take for so long that like, it starts to eat at your liver or your kidneys and things like that. And a human made that. God made weed.”
In recent years, numerous players have asked the NFL to allow them to use marijuana instead of painkillers to manage the pain from their injuries, pointing out that many states allow the use of medical marijuana.
Players also have been outspoken against the league’s reliance on painkillers.
“For people like me, marijuana is a godsend because you don’t want to take these pills,” former NFL offensive lineman Ryan O’Callaghan told USA Today Sports in August. “Marijuana is not addicting. People who say that have never smoked it. I have an addictive personality. It’s not addictive.”
The NFL is expected to be revisit the issue when the current collective bargaining agreement expires in 2021.