Ricky Williams “kind of” quit football to smoke weed

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Dolphins running back Ricky Williams made a surprise announcement just before the start of training camp in 2004 that he would retire from the NFL. Williams also acknowledged that he was an avid user of marijuana, and at the time he was facing a suspension for marijuana use. As a result, it’s been said that Williams “retired to smoke weed.”

Williams says that’s true, to a point.

“It’s kind of true, but not the way that people see it, that I quit football to go smoke weed,” Williams told Sports Illustrated.

Williams’ comments came as part of a documentary that SI.com will publish next week, and Williams discussed his support for medicinal marijuana and his opposition to the way the NFL conducts its substance abuse policy. Williams believes that a player shouldn’t have to quit football if he wants to go smoke weed, because Williams believes one has nothing to do with the other.

75 responses to “Ricky Williams “kind of” quit football to smoke weed

  1. And…??? So what? Again, not a weed smoker, but honestly, leave these guys alone already. I have to admit, I have a long, stressful day ahead of me today, and this made me laugh, I needed that. Thanks!

  2. “It’s kind of true, but not the way that people see it, I used a bong,” Williams told Sports Illustrated.

  3. Who really cares…. It’s his life…. If he quit football because he didn’t enjoy it would that matter?

  4. number1hawkfan says:
    Jul 8, 2016 6:47 AM

    WOW you took this WAYYY too far. You shouldnt mention intelligent discussions b/c you clearly are not intelligent. Do not compare smoking that to extremely serious things. The fact is, its illegal, and until it is, then yes you should be suspending for doing illegal things. If your caught with pain killers that arent prescribed- then you get in trouble. You are allowed to drink, but if you get a dui then you get in trouble (b/c its illegal- like smoking weeed). I know everyone who smokes thinks its no biggie, and thats ur opinion, but according to the law it is a biggie. I can say i dont think vandalism a big deal………….does that make it ok for me to do?

  5. He chose pot over being a productive member of society. It does not take a genius to see the ramifications of that decision. It is clear that pot can be addictive and damaging. It is also clear that some smoke pot with little bad effects. Rather than make pot completely illegal, we can leave it to each individual and business to decide how they want to treat pot smokers. But let’s start the discussion with facts and being honest, because it appears both sides are living a delusion.

  6. It was always weed first with him. He was an amazing talent, but he liked his weed. That’s the insidious thing about this drug. It isn’t addictive like alcohol, pills or heroin. It just sneaks in as a higher priority. You can be a football player, lawyer, an IT guy, a parent, or adult if you smoke it a lot. Just A less effective one, than if you don’t. That’s the part of the argument the pro-weed people leave out. Ricky is a test book case.

  7. As much as I can appreciate his love for the green. He could have extended his playing career, made a lot more money, left people with a positive image, and spent his whole retirement getting baked. It’s not like the majority of us who have to wait until our 60s to retire. Your loss Ricky.

  8. @numberonehawkfan

    To compare the fight to legalize marijuanna with any of those you mentioned is ignorant. Not even in the same realm.

    -Avid smoker/supporter of legalization.

  9. i was going to keep playing football but then i got high

  10. Ricky Williams is living proof that smoking too much ganja
    makes you stupid

    The Plant has a purpose,pain relief
    when you abuse it ,this is what you get
    Ricky Williams

  11. Some folks on this thread should check out the 30 for 30 “Run Ricky Run” documentary on YouTube. It shows the real Ricky Williams, a complicated person who suffered from anxiety and depression issues, not the stoner poster child who preferred weed to football as the prevailing narrative implies.

  12. Leave the man alone. His quitting was about much more than that. He lives his own life, helps others–let him be. Trying to pretend most of you dont look at illegal stuff on the internet or secretly cheat on your wife or steal from you job. He’s a good guy, let him be.

  13. bigcid10 says:
    Jul 8, 2016 9:16 AM
    Ricky Williams is living proof that smoking too much ganja
    makes you stupid

    The Plant has a purpose,pain relief
    when you abuse it ,this is what you get
    Ricky Williams
    _________
    You sir (or otherwise), are stupid. It is apparent you are ignorant on the subject or marijuana, so you should educate yourself. Do you personally know Ricky Williams? People like you are the reason people who really need marijuana, do not have it. Marijuana use goes beyond pain relief.
    (Like you I am assuming about you, how does it feel)!

  14. auchosporlife says:
    Jul 8, 2016 7:47 AM
    Why would anyone condone drug use? I don’t get it.

    —————————–

    Like it or not weed has pain relieving effects. Weed also makes you sleepy most people who use pain meds just want to sleep through the night pain free.

    What is safer taking 10 oxy or smoking 10 joints.

  15. PriorKnowledge says:
    Jul 8, 2016 8:00 AM

    He chose pot over being a productive member of society. It does not take a genius to see the ramifications of that decision.

    —–

    So being an NFL running back makes a person a productive member of society? You’re a dolt, please don’t breed.

  16. The legalisation of marijuana would greatly reduce the cost to treat cancer, pain medication addictions and a laundry list of other serious medical ailments.

    If you think otherwise, please take the time to understand basic clinical trial testing and start reading the hundreds of published articles from reputable medical journals from all sorts of medical fields.

    You can find them on the National Institute of Health’s website (NIH). Until you’ve done that, please stop talking about why you think weed is bad.

  17. magnumpimustache says:
    Jul 8, 2016 9:42 AM

    auchosporlife says:
    Jul 8, 2016 7:47 AM
    Why would anyone condone drug use? I don’t get it.

    —————————–

    Like it or not weed has pain relieving effects. Weed also makes you sleepy most people who use pain meds just want to sleep through the night pain free.

    What is safer taking 10 oxy or smoking 10 joints.
    ———————————————–

    So you are saying that everyone who uses pot just needs pain relief or a good nights sleep?

  18. Patsareinyourheads says:

    That’s the insidious thing about this drug. It isn’t addictive like alcohol, pills or heroin.
    =================================

    Maybe that’s what High Times says, but Tyrann Mathieu almost ruined his career until he went to rehab for pot addiction. Thumbs downs from millennials can’t change that fact.

  19. Knocking Ricky for use of a mind altering substance while the game itself causes far more bodily and brain damage.

    Got it.

  20. gauchosporlife says:
    Jul 8, 2016 7:47 AM

    Why would anyone condone drug use? I don’t get it.
    ————————-

    For the same reason that people condone smoking cigarettes and drinking booze, both of which are far more destructive than using marijuana.

  21. How much does it cost a family of four to come to a pro football stadium to watch him and his millionaire buddies play for 11 minutes of action? $500 ? $750 ?
    Selective outrage is most becoming

  22. No “kind of” quit about. Anyone who turns his back on earning millions just to smoke weed has problems. If he isn’t broke now we’ll probably be hearing abut it soon.

  23. I have personally had several bright, accomplished friends completely destroy their lives and relationships over this non addictive substance filled with health benefits.

  24. willycents says:
    Jul 8, 2016 10:10 AM

    magnumpimustache says:
    Jul 8, 2016 9:42 AM
    —————————–

    Like it or not weed has pain relieving effects. Weed also makes you sleepy most people who use pain meds just want to sleep through the night pain free.

    What is safer taking 10 oxy or smoking 10 joints.
    ———————————————–

    So you are saying that everyone who uses pot just needs pain relief or a good nights sleep?
    ———————-

    Which part of “people who use pain meds” didn’t you understand?

  25. gauchosporlife says:
    Jul 8, 2016 7:47 AM
    Why would anyone condone drug use? I don’t get it.
    ———————————-
    Are you seriously that daft? It’s obviously for medicinal purposes…many, many symptoms that this natural herb can cure and help alleviate, why do non-intelligent people villify this substance?

    To better answer your question, why do doctors condone drug use? To alleviate symptoms dummy. You have a brain for a reason, try using some time.

  26. @m8gaman–Where in the story does it states Wlliams is suffering from any pain? From what I read, the guy is just a pothead. You’re living proof of the side effects of smoking weed. So who’s the dummy again?

  27. I dont smoke, my wife does on occasion. I have no care whatsoever, but for those that say the league should over look it, your silly.
    As it stands, it is an illegal substance in the eyes of the law. Again, I am not here to argue whether it should or not, but as long as it is, then the league has the right to treat it as such.

    doesnt matter that a fewstates have legalized it, Federal law over steps state laws, and any company can still require a drug free workplace.

    The real issue that I have with Williams is that he quit his job with a contract and left his teammates high and dry (no pun intended). Regardless of his reason, he is a quitter first and foremost.

    and some of you are hypocritical when you say “its his choice who are you to judge” when he has a contract that he agreed to and does not live up to it, yet you bash any player trying to renegotiate his contract.

  28. Ironically, smoking weed is 1000 times medically safer (it’s a scientific fact) than playing football. If Junior Seau would have quit football for weed, his life story wouldn’t be such a painful read. The list of football players with broken down bodies and ruined brains due to football is endless. Good decision, Ricky.

  29. I suffer from the same anxiety and depression issues that Ricky has. I was going from one medication to the next for years without positive results. Then I met Ricky at a fan event while he was playing for the Toronto Argonauts and he suggested I try weed to appease the anxiety. I did, and I can honestly say that my life has been better for it.

    Ricky didn’t quit football for weed, he quit football in favor of better mental health. There is a HUGE difference.

  30. igcid10 says:
    Jul 8, 2016 9:16 AM

    Ricky Williams is living proof that smoking too much ganja
    makes you stupid

    The Plant has a purpose,pain relief
    when you abuse it ,this is what you get
    Ricky Williams

    ——————————————–

    Go look in the mirror Einstein if you want proof of stupidity.

  31. I imagine the bottom line for the NFL is that most states still have no legislation legalizing marijuana. The corporation just can’t have players – by intent or accident – keeping it in NFL facilities, crossing state lines with it in commercial or team owned vehicles, distributing it in any way, or losing playing time because they get prosecuted for possession. That said, maybe the NFL discipline is too harsh – but they can’t exactly be seen as advocating for something that’s still illegal in states its teams do business in.

  32. Under Coach Wannstedt, Ricky was way overused and the marijuana was his way of coping. He effectively took a sabattical (and smoked a lot along the way). However, what is important to remember is that Ricky got himself together and came back to the game, returning as a very good player for a number of years after his break.

  33. Weed has helped me with certain issues way more than the drugs my doctor prescribed, with far fewer side effects.
    Dude still has his mind and some money. I’d say he’s farther up the happiness scale than most of us.

  34. I love how casually people roll out the “well, regardless of what you think of X, its against the rules to X, and we have to follow the rules, so….” argument.

    I understand it makes sense on paper, I used to use it myself on this same subject, but just sit back and consider how this can be used to rationalize absolutely anything.

  35. willycents says:
    Jul 8, 2016 10:10

    So you are saying that everyone who uses pot just needs pain relief or a good nights sleep?
    _________
    I don’t think he is saying that he is just sayings a safer alternative, putting 6 to 10 pills in your body to help fight issues then others to fight side effects. Hunger sleep thirst is mild compared to what side of those orange bottles have labeled.

    Much like you aren’t really saying anyone who smokes pot can’t do anything but watch cartoons and eat potato chips because they are unemployed,, it just sort of comes off that way. This isn’t the Reefer Madness Era anymore.

  36. I’m neither pro nor against marijuana in any way, if people want to do it, that’s up to them-it’s their choice.
    One thing i do notice though is, players—Randy Gregory being the case in point-smoking it just before the combine when they know they are going to be tested.
    Why would you do that? That cost him a fair old amount of dollars. Suspended again for marijuana? Why would you do it?
    Could it be that it actually is addictive? Or is he just that stupid?

  37. I used to smoke a lot of weed….as did my friends. Probably between a half ounce to an ounce per week. The stuff makes you complacent and in some of my friend’s cases….stupid. It can also make you paranoid and induce anxiety and panic attacks.

    For those who say Williams suffered from depression and anxiety, which came first….the weed or the mental issues?

    And for those who compare it to alcohol or tobacco….I agree it is less dangerous. But people should not use those either. If someone really needs to alter their mind to have a good time or be happy….they have a problem and should try to figure it out.

  38. The NFL won’t change the rules about pot until the Federal Government legalizes pot. It’s that simple. The league won’t even consider changing its rule until the law changes.

    Write your Congressional Rep. Write your Senator. Run for office. Be the change.

  39. My mother was fed a bunch of junk about marijuana oil and how it would heal her cancer. She died after it did nothing except cost a lot of money from the “medical doctors” down at the head shop.

    If you think marijuana is a miracle herb that will cure cancer and mental illness, then tell me why, after decades of a large portion of society smoking or using marijuana, we have all time highs in cancer rates, anxiety and depression rates, etc.?

    (insert sound of crickets).

  40. I have always been in favor of legalizing weed. However in recent years
    having represented teenagers in juvenile court I have come to realize
    that there are changing issues in regard to this issue.
    In some of my hearings the court has ordered psychological evaluations. In more than one recent report the expert expressed
    concerns that the use of marijuana in today’s world can be far more
    damaging to adolescents. Specifically the weed today is much
    more powerful. This powerful drug is believed to have far more extensive effects on the developing brain. As one high school counselor stated ” it’s so strong we can smell it before they have even smoked it ”
    Who knows ? I wonder if today’s weed is addictive. I still come down on legalizing weed but perhaps too much of anything is the problem.
    Lastly I just cannot agree on a player losing his entire season’s paycheck for smoking weed.

  41. richardshermanhaschickenlegs says:
    Jul 8, 2016 3:26 PM
    My mother was fed a bunch of junk about marijuana oil and how it would heal her cancer. She died after it did nothing except cost a lot of money from the “medical doctors” down at the head shop.

    If you think marijuana is a miracle herb that will cure cancer and mental illness, then tell me why, after decades of a large portion of society smoking or using marijuana, we have all time highs in cancer rates, anxiety and depression rates, etc.?
    ___________

    If it would “Cure” cancer doctors would use that for EVERY case, but it DOESN’T. It DOES help, but it ALSO depends on the cancer type, aggressiveness. and stage, many people that deal with cancer say its helps reduce pain and increase their quality of life.

    If you don’t understand why people are depressed, or suffer from anxiety lately, you must have turned a blind eye to the news, you don’t know if your’re parents or children are going to make it home from what should be a peaceful protest or a basic traffic stop. I don’t blame you though, that stuff is awful to watch.

  42. I was probably 17 when this happened, and as a Dolphins fan, at the time it was probably about two notches above 9/11 on my all time bad day list. Hell, I even burned my 34 jersey. After growing up a little bit, I was insane. Ricky Williams was getting upwards of 40 touches a game, and smashing through 350 pound defensive tackles on most of them. He would have 120 yard rushing days, and the media would say he didn’t do enough. If the man wanted to go home and smoke a little weed instead of being subject to that, who the hell am I to judge him? On the insane off chance he reads the PFT comments, I’m sorry Ricky!

  43. You burned his jersey? and I got i purchased it on sale of the “Manziel” rack.

    Ricky made a guest appearance on Tosh.O the earlier in the week and it was hilarious.

  44. Who cares if any athlete smokes weed?? Is it some secret performance drug?? Did I miss an AMA report to that effect? Does anyone know that the height of stupidity is judging and ignorance? These same folks can drink themselves into a coma and that’s somehow ok? Just stop.

  45. Good story, welcome to the mid 2000’s.. Just a heads up, you might want to pull your money out of the stock market sometime in early 2008..

  46. Williams and Sabin put the Dolphins back a couple of seasons. Probably would not have mattered on a well run team but for us it was a catastrophe. Always thought every team has their day but ours is a long time coming and I am not really getting a feeling its just around the corner either. But I dream and maybe this new coach can add some backbone to this weak club.

  47. Ricky is an intelligent, introspective guy born into a body freakishly endowed with athleticism. He lived with and THRIVED under physical and mental pressures us normal folk cannot even imagine. I can attest to the power of the evil weed to mitigate anxiety and stress. I received a serious brain injury in a car accident some years ago and suffered through years of redlined anxiety and PTSD issues. Weed helped immensely. Beyond that, it is a pleasant and mild mental stimulant, an aphrodisiac, appetite stimulant, and overall “good parts of life” enhancer, if used responsibly. It’s cheap. It not toxic. It’s awesome.

    Got my 4 (legal) plants in the ground as I type. I’m over 50 and am a very productive human bean. Two college degrees. Kids in college, doing well. No debt. Own my home outright. Self-employed in an exacting and difficult field. I say this not to brag, but to counter the stereotypes being put forth by some ignorant sumbitches here on this comment thread.

    By the way guys…. if you can grow your own (so it’s essentially free) then you can make edibles cheaply…. and edibles are a whooooole other ball game. Pretty similar to alcohol- relaxing, euphoric, social body buzz. Except no toxicity. Minimal cost. Thank me later.

  48. gregbeau says:
    Jul 8, 2016 8:13 AM
    He walked away from millions in order to use a mind-altering, dirty, stinky substance. But it’s not addictive. Right.

    Actually, it really isn’t.
    I used to smoke it all day/every day.
    Now, I don’t smoke it at all and haven’t for over 5 yrs.
    I don’t crave it or miss it… at all.
    It never was an addiction.
    It was however, something very enjoyable shared by millions of people on this planet… provided by ‘Mother Nature’.
    Here’s the part that really sucks:
    I live in Loveland Co. and my nephew is a licensed grower here.
    That means I live where it’s perfectly legal and I have access to it anytime I want and… it’s free.
    Oh and it’s no more dirty or stinky than any vegetable grown in a garden.
    You’re obviously just another hater.

  49. Ricky Williams is probably going to much more healthy, both physically and mentally, than if he would have continued getting his body and brains beat out playing football. He’s just a guy that marches to the beat of his own drummer, and most of us are forced to live a life where we’re marching to the beat of someone else’s drum. I’m not sure why that makes so many people jealous, but apparently it does.

  50. shaggytoodle says:
    Jul 8, 2016 2:53 PM

    Much like you aren’t really saying anyone who smokes pot can’t do anything but watch cartoons and eat potato chips because they are unemployed,, it just sort of comes off that way. This isn’t the Reefer Madness Era anymore.
    ———————

    For some people, it is Reefer Madness, and they actually believe and say stuff like that.

    They have been completely brainwashed by years of propaganda about cannabis.

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