NFL: A Super Bowl of Marijuana May Cure Our Concussion Crisis
Football fans and stoners alike are gearing up to watch the Seattle Seahawks battle the Denver Broncos at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey this Super Bowl Sunday. Many are calling this Stoner Bowl 2014 because the teams hail from states that have boldly declared recreational marijuana legal. You can bet, history will be in the making, not only will there be more people than ever watching the Super Bowl legally stoned this year, but the NFL may be soon looking to a super bowl of marijuana to cure it’s concussion crisis.
The NFL May Consider Medical Marijuana
NFL Commissioner Robert Goodell, told USA Today on January 23, 2014, the NFL would consider allowing athletes to use marijuana to treat concussions and other head injuries if medical experts deemed it a legitimate solution. “I’m not a medical expert. We will obviously follow signs. We will follow medicine and if they determine this could be a proper usage in any context, we will consider that,” Goodell said. “Our medical experts are not saying that right now.”
While Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner will be watching the Super Bowl from home as a result of an indefinite suspension from smoking weed, his coach Pete Carroll agrees that the NFL should look into medical weed as an option. “I would say that we have to explore and find ways to make our game a better game and take care of our players in whatever way possible. Regardless of what other stigmas might be involved, we have to do this because the world of medicine is doing this,” Carroll said at a news conference January 27 in a press conference following the Seahawks first practice of Super Bowl week.
The NFL’s concussion crisis could cripple its’ annual $9Billion revenue, not to mention the lives of players and the hopes of fans. Frontline aired an investigative report titled ‘League of Denial the NFL’s Concussion Crisis’ in October 2013 based on the Book League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth written by Mark Fainaru-Wada, Steve Fainaru. The book and film detail the gross negligence committed by the NFL and the tragic stories of players losing their minds temporarily and permanently from repeated trauma to the brain. Central to the story is #52 Iron Mike Webster, defensive linemen for the Pittsburgh Steeler’s in the 1970’s. Webster led his team to four Super Bowls, played 17 years and ended up dead at 50. He was one of the first players to file suit against the league for disability due to head trauma and the onset of dementia. He was also the first post-mortem patient that would prove continuous trauma to the head would result in CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) a degenerative brain disease associated with contact sports.
The NFL and Commissioner Goodell not only have Frontline to contend with two weeks ago on January 15, 2014 a federal judge in Philadelphia denied a preliminary approval of a $765 million settlement for NFL concussion claims, fearing it may not be enough to cover the 20,000 retired players.
For now medical marijuana remains on the NFL’s banned substances list. And removing it seems problematic since the feds and interstate commerce laws still consider it illegal and prohibit it from being transported across state lines. So other than being used to capturing media attention and divert attention from a very serious problem marijuana isn’t going to do much to help the NFL right now.
Leave a Reply