NFL player David Irving announced his retirement from the league on Instagram Thursday and did so while sparking up.
The former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle said he decided to protest the NFL's strict anti-marijuana policy, Yahoo Sports reports. Irving also criticized the league's dependence on prescription drugs, particularly those that have a high rate of abuse.
Irving began his livestream holding a blunt while smiling. "Pass the blunt, bro,” he said to the camera as his followers tuned in.
“So, basically guys, I quit,” Irving said. “They want to talk about a suspension and all this other nonsense. I’m outta there. I’m not doing this s**t no more. It’s a lot of reasons why I've come to this decision.”
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On February 26, Irving was suspended indefinitely after violating the league's substance abuse policy for the third time in three seasons, Deadspin reports. The development came just a few weeks shy of Irving becoming an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.
Concerns over conditions like CTE aside, football is rough on the body; Irving made it clear he believes marijuana is a better, safer way to find pain relief for the bruises and injuries that occur in professional football, particularly compared to pills.
“If I’m going to be addicted to something, I’d rather it be marijuana, which is medical,” Irving said. “It’s medicine, I do not consider it a drug; rather than the Xanax bars or the hydros or the Seroquel and all that crazy s**t that they feed you. ... Plants over pills.”
Alright so I guess David Irving is done with football.— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) March 8, 2019
“So, basically guys, I quit... I’m outta there. I’m not doing this shit no more.” pic.twitter.com/vS6t0iJF4u
The New York Post reports the Dallas Cowboys were not considering resigning Irving. Over his four-year career, Irving has dealt with multiple suspensions related to his weed usage, including missed drug tests, leaves of absence and has also faced a domestic violence accusation (which was later recanted by his girlfriend).
Irving stated that while he does love the NFL, he feels the league's policies on marijuana do not have the players' best interests at heart. He referenced the more liberal weed policies of other professional sports leagues and compared himself to Colin Kaepernick, who famously found himself unable to secure NFL employment after taking a stand on police brutality.
“They try to make me seem like the bad guy," Irving said. "I’ll Kaepernick myself before they Kaepernick my a*s ... football does not define me.”
Irving has accumulated 12.5 sacks, 12 pass deflections and 56 tackles in his 37-game career.
The NFL has made its stance on marijuana very clear. Last year, Blavity reported the NFL ruled players must continue to use highly addictive opioids to manage their body pain, rather than marijuana. Ex-NFL players have publicly come out against the policy in recent years, including Ricky Williams and Clinton Portis.
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