While smoking a joint and streaming live on Instagram Thursday night, David Irving, defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys, announced that he is quitting his job with the National Football League (NFL).
“Basically, guys, I quit. I know they’re talking about a suspension and all this other nonsense. I’m out of there. I’m not doing this sh** no more,” Irving said during the video stream on Instagram Live.
Irving completed the live stream in response to being suspended indefinitely by the Cowboys after his urine tested positive for the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) metabolite again. This is the third time he has been suspended in four years for failing to abide by the league’s outdated drug policy.
“Everyone questions my commitment to football,” he said. “But let’s it straight…I love football…However, I don’t love the NFL. The NFL isn’t football.”
Like many others, Irving has expressed many times that he believes NFL players should be permitted to medicate and treat injuries with cannabis instead of opioids if they choose. He supports the #plantsoverpills movement with the hashtag proudly displayed at the top of his Instagram page. He also repeated the statement multiple times during the nearly 20 minute Instagram Live video stream.
One thing was made clear during the stream: Irving thinks it’s bullsh**.
“We got this opioid thing going on and I’m prescribed all that bullsh**, and I just think it’s bullsh** that we’ve got to deal with that policy,” he said during the Instagram Live stream. “Everyone thinks it’s about smoking weed. It’s not about smoking weed. It’s much bigger than that. Much, much bigger. Hell, I have concussions every day. I get to see around the office how that f—s your head up and I feel it.”
“How many NBA players you see getting in trouble about this? How many coaches you see get in trouble about this? How many baseball players get in trouble? How many UFC players getting in trouble? How many actors? Not many, but you do see us football players,” Irving said.
While some are saying that Irving is quitting the NFL solely because of it’s cannabis policy, he insists that is not the only reason.
“If I’m going to be addicted to something, I’d rather it be marijuana, which is medical,” Irving continued. “I do not consider it a drug, rather than the Xanax bars or the hydro[codone] or the Seroquel and all that crazy sh** that they feed you. Like I said, it ain’t about smoking weed.”
While his point is valid and worth noting, some criticize the way Irving went about delivering the message. It is possible that it could have been more well received by a larger audience if he had expressed his views in a different manner.
Irving has joined the ranks of so many other NFL players, both active and retired, who have spoken out in support of using cannabis to treat symptoms caused by injuries sustained during games, like concussions, muscle tears, and broken bones.
NFL players can only be drug tested from April through August. If a player does not fail his drug test the first time, it will be another year before he can be tested again. This is how some players are able to medicate with cannabis during the season, assuming they are able to pass the drug test the first time.
At only 25 years old, Irving was a promising player in the NFL when he was able to stay on the field. He made four tackles and one sack in the only two games he played for the Cowboys during the most recent season. The season before that, Irving sacked the quarterback seven times in eight games. He was about to become a free agent, but apparently he no longer has any interest in exploring his options with the NFL.
What will Irving do next if he isn’t going to play football? He says he has big plans for the future, and that they will be revealed soon enough. Perhaps Irving will follow in the footsteps of other ex-professional-athletes like Tiki Barber and Ricky Williams by launching his own cannabis brand or investing in an existing cannabis business.