Eugene Monroe of the Baltimore Ravens has stepped forward to express his support on the use of medicinal marijuana. He also strongly believes that the drug should be removed from the banned substances list of the NFL.
However, due to the controversial nature of the issue, and given the fact that Monroe is the only NFL player to publicly express his opinion about this, there is still some level of danger that could significantly affect the athlete's professional career. But, despite this risk, Monroe is not afraid to uphold his beliefs.
According to him, some of his teammates also share the same views regarding the legal use of cannabis. For them, this subject is about using this substance for medical purposes. In fact, he even donated $80,000 to the University of Pennsylvania and John Hopkins to help progress the research regarding the use of cannabis-based therapies on former and current NFL players.
"Other players, particularly in the Ravens locker room are very supportive of this," Monroe said according to ESPN. "We're concerned for our health and wellness future. A lot of us are fathers with many children."
"We want to be there in full capacity for our kids and for our families when we are done playing the game," he added. "Introducing cannabis as a medical option that would be prescribed by certified doctors could make the game much safer."
Officials of the NFL and the Ravens did not directly refute Monroe's statements and stance but expressed their pessimism regarding the matter.
For instance, Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the league, noted that although the NFL is open to reviewing its policies regarding illegal substances, the public should not expect any drastic changes to its policies anytime soon.
On the other hand, Ravens coach John Harbaugh made it clear that Monroe's beliefs are purely subjective and do not reflect those of the Baltimore franchise. For Monroe, however, he believes he represents the other players who also support his views.
"Well, maybe from not his perspective," he said in response to Harbaugh's statement according to MSNBC. "But I do speak for the organization in terms of the players who make up the team who are fully supportive of my initiative.