Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Nate Jackson spoke with HBO’s Real Sports about the benefits of using marijuana in favor of opiate-based painkillers when dealing with injuries during the season. “You’re always battling your body,” Jackson said in the interview which airs Tuesday. “The job description is slamming yourself into another human being as hard as you can.”
Jackson played six seasons in the NFL with the Broncos and argues that marijuana actually better equipped him to deal with the rigors of the day-to-day grind in the NFL. Former NFL punter Chris Kluwe shares Jackson’s view, and submits that most players are using pot to cope with pain, not to get high.
“It’s everywhere,” Kluwe said, “In the locker room when guys used to talk about it it wasn’t about ‘I’m going to go get blazed and tear up the town’ it was like, ‘Yeah I smoked a bit and passed out on the couch because I felt like crap after practice.’”
Despite the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington and Colorado, the NFL has still outlawed its use among players. Another former Broncos wide receiver, Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe, doesn’t think the policy will change any time soon.
“That will never happen. Not in our lifetime, because of the way kids follow what NFL players do,’ Sharpe said in 2012. “If you look at Little League football, kids who play want to wear the pink towels and shoes for breast cancer awareness … they follow everything the big guys do.
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