During his Hall of Fame career for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jack Ham was renowned as one of the canniest, fastest linebackers ever to play, doling out his share of bruising punishment to opposing ball carriers.
These days the man still celebrated as “The Hammer” has a very different relationship with pain: He’s committed to helping people treat it. Read Full Article
The World Anti-Doping Agency, which regulates drug use for the Olympics, announced earlier this month that in 2018 it will no longer ban CBD, the compound in cannabis thought to have the most medical benefits without any mind-altering effects. And leaders in the NFL, NBA and other American pro sports leagues are starting to reconsider their cannabis policies.
“We’ve been fundamentally misled,” said Riley Cote, who co-founded Athletes for Care, an organization that helps athletes adjust to life after sports. Cote said he smoked cannabis throughout his eight seasons in pro hockey, including three years as a left winger for the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. Read Full Article
It’s a new day. You’ve just climbed out of bed, ready to begin a routine that has proven successful in helping you achieve your daily goals. Is cannabis part of that routine? For millions of people worldwide, cannabis is a key ingredient in their recipe for success. Teachers, lawyers, fisherman, stay-at-home parents and professional athletes all share a common bond. It isn’t their use of cannabis, however—it’s their active lifestyle.
Active lifestyles, like those who live them, are not universally the same. A stay-at-home parent who readies the kids for school, does all the housekeeping and prepares meals is arguably no less active than a UFC fighter who trains eight hours a day. Most would agree an attorney who works sixteen hour days is leading an active life. But does that perception change when considering the lifestyle of a fitness instructor or professional athlete? Of course not. Read Full Article
HERB, the largest and most engaged cannabis media platform in the world, recently released the first episode of their video series “Game Changers,” featuring Athletes For Care Ambassadors and NFL veterans Marvin Washington, Leonard Marshall, Eben Britton, and Grant Mattos. Throughout the video, the players discuss injuries sustained during their careers, rampant opioid addiction in the league, and the NFL’s stance on marijuana use.
“Sitting together with the group of guys that spanned four decades of football and talking was therapeutic,” said Marvin Washington, former NFL defensive end. “Too many times we think we are going through something alone, but this will show guys that they are not. Maybe this will start conversations all around the country between former players and ultimately lead to change.”
HERB conceptualized “Game Changers” with the goal of providing current and former professional athletes with a platform to tell their stories of pain, triumph, while ending with the positive message of progress.
“If players are going to get NFL teams to move away from the use of synthetic pain drugs to treat injuries, I feel they need to band together and form an alliance with one another regarding the use of CBD,” said Leonard Marshall, former 12-year NFL defensive lineman. “The general public may think these players are just looking to get high, however, many of these players are just looking to get healthy, and that’s more than fair.”
“Working with the HERB team was great,” said Marshall. “They are a young group of guys bringing endless knowledge and credibility to the marketplace. I couldn’t think of a greater organization to get involved with to tell my story.”
Americans are increasing their support for access to marijuana now more than ever. And it is not just medical marijuana – which has been legal in some parts of the country for some time now – but all cannabis. The story of Riley Cote, a former hockey player, is revealing in more than one way how marijuana can help top athletes. Hated by the opposing teams, this former strongman never hesitated to face adversity to defend his teammates. He is now a cannabis advocate. Read Full Article
As the struggles of current and former professional athletes have come under increased scrutiny in recent years—including traumatic brain injuries and reports linking contact sports with opioid abuse and mental health issues—sports stars assembled in Boston this week say one possible remedy is not getting the respect or airtime it deserves: marijuana.
“Most Americans are very affected by the stigma” of the drug, says Eben Britton, a retired offensive lineman for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears, and a founding member of the pro-marijuana nonprofit Athletes for Care. “I think that is beginning to change.” Read Full Article
Professional hockey is one of the world’s most physically demanding sports. NHL players take a beating night in, night out for over 80 games a season. Riley Cote, a former left winger for the Philadelphia Flyers, knows that pain all too well. During his eight years as an enforcer for the Flyers, Cote would often wake up sore and swollen after a night on the ice.
The former NHL brawler—Cote racked up more than 50 fights with the Flyers from 2006 to 2010—is extremely dedicated to clean medicine and botanical health and healing. And that body care regimen has long included cannabis. Read Full Article
Pain is a constant in the game of football, and the National Football League has long relied on painkillers to keep its players on the field. This has made NFL locker rooms especially vulnerable to the opioid epidemic.
Former NFL players abuse opioid pain medications at four times the rate of the general population, according to a study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis. In recent years, the NFL has been the subject of Drug Enforcement Administration investigations and multiple lawsuits alleging that the league recklessly administered painkillers to its players. Read Full Article
Almost exactly one year ago, I wrote a two-part article about the NFL’s over reliance on prescription drugs for pain management and its inability to see how its own marijuana substance abuse policy was hurting its players instead of helping them.
At the time of that writing, the NFL’s stance was rigid and archaic. “Medical experts have not recommended making a change or revisiting our collectively-bargained policy and approach [between the NFL and NFL Players Association] related to marijuana, and our position on its use remains consistent with federal law and workplace policies across the country,” stated Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the NFL. Read Full Article
It’s the most popular game in America. There are big plays and crushing tackles from pee wee to the pros. Football is worth billions of dollars, but a new study questions the real cost.
The American Medical Association study of the brains of 111 former NFL players found chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in 110 of them. The brain disease was found in 90-percent of all football players studied from the NFL to high school aged athletes. Read Full Article