Mercy: Compassionate treatment, especially of those under one’s power
Media outlets reported yesterday that the Minnesota Vikings are trading all-pro wide receiver Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks. Based on Harvin’s history, it is almost as if fate is telling the NFL it is time to change one of its most unjust and irrational policies.
Percy Harvin (AP)
It’s no secret that Percy Harvin has used marijuana. Percy tested positive for marijuana at the 2009 NFL combine, which was the reason why he was selected late in the first round instead of being a high pick. It’s also no secret that Percy – like many of us – suffers from severe migraines. Many have speculated that Percy used marijuana to treat these notoriously untreatable and unbearable headaches. In fact, Percy missed significant game and practice time with the Vikings due to migraines once he was forced to abstain – due to NFL rules (PDF) – from using marijuana as a treatment option. Continue reading
On Nov. 6 of last year, the state of Washington made the possession and use of marijuana legal for adults. Marijuana remains illegal in Washington, D.C., the home of the Redskins. Last week, the District of Columbia ranked ninth on a list of America’s ‘25 Drunkest Cities,’ while Seattle, home of the Seahawks, didn’t even make the list.
Is it a coincidence that the Seahawks handily beat the Redskins this past Sunday?
Perhaps. (Nevertheless, it is worth noting that both the Seahawks and the Denver Broncos have yet to lose a game at home since their respective states made marijuana legal.)
But we have to wonder why the NFL continues to prohibit marijuana use by players during the off-season, even in states that have made it legal, while simultaneously promoting alcohol use at every game. Moreover, the league continues to prohibit players in those states from using marijuana for medical purposes, despite its proven ability to ease chronic pain – a condition that affects many players.
Perhaps allowing professional athletes to make the choice to use marijuana instead of painkillers could make a difference in their performances. And so could allowing them to use marijuana instead of alcohol when they are relaxing or socializing with friends. Regardless, it is bad policy to continue punishing these athletes simply for making a safer choice.
Photo by Mark Gail/MCT