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NFL in the spotlight


With the recent release of the movie Concussion director Peter Landesman has brightened the spotlight on the NFL's treatment of it's players. The movie tells the story of pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu as he "uncovers the truth about brain damage in football players who suffer repeated concussions in the course of normal play." (IMDB).

Red football helmet and jersey

On January 3rd The Guardian published a story titled "Former NFL players call for medical marijuana to be taken off banned list" (link) In it Kyle Turley describes how moving to California and becoming a medical cannabis patient changed his life, "It was exactly what I was looking for in rest, recovery, alleviating my mind,” he said. He eventually weaned off his other medications. “I don’t take Aleve, Advil, aspirin, nothing,” he said. “I’ve gone nine months now, what I like to say, completely drug-free.”" This experience motivated him to form the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition.

Gridiron Cannabis Coalition Logo

The coalition joins the ranks of NFL players pushing back against the NFL's policy surrounding drugs. The article writes "Earlier this year, approximately 1,300 retired players filed a lawsuit against the NFL, alleging that teams and their medical staffs were illegally pushing painkillers in a way that jeopardized players’ long-term health. The suit claims that information about the severity of injuries was withheld from players as they were given prescriptions to get them back on the field as quickly as possible. It also says that some former coaches and assistants told players they would be cut from the team if they didn’t take painkillers and return soon from injury." (link)

Are you an athlete constantly working to manage pain, soreness, or other conditions? What do you think about the NFL's policy on drug use?