On the Thursday edition of the ESPN show “First Take”, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark said that he doesn’t believe the NFL should continue testing for marijuana for a variety of reasons and added that some of his teammates smoke the banned drug as well.
“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.”
In addition to that, Clark said the NFL is fighting a losing battle in trying to keep marijuana out of the league because the current testing system for the drug isn’t all that effective.
“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.”
While many players around the league might very well agree with Clark’s stance on marijuana, I’m willing to bet that several of his Steelers teammates aren’t too happy with him saying on the record that they smoke it. This is sort of like talking about Fight Club in that rule number one is that you don’t talk about it.
Look, we all know that players around the league smoke marijuana for various reasons and perhaps one day it will actually no longer be a substance that players are tested for. With that being said, Clark very well may have violated locker room code when discussing the things that he did.
Clark is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next month and there’s a good chance that his career with the Steelers has come to an end. If not, I’m sure he will have a few teammates that will want to discuss the whistle-blowing that he did on Thursday.