Around the country, the unofficial marijuana holiday known as 4/20 is being celebrated today. Thousands of people friendly with this dangerous drug will celebrate by smoking (or eating, or what have you) weed. Except for NFL players, that is.
That’s right, the window for the NFL’s offseason drug testing program opens today, which means that any NFL player not already in the league’s substance-abuse program will be tested for illegal, non-performance enhancing (under league rules) drugs exactly once in between today and August 9. That means they already should have that stuff out of their respective systems by now. Of course, if they get tested today or tomorrow and pass, it’s smooth sailing for the rest of the year (unless they get caught with drugs by a league official or the police).
If this strikes you as a system that’s incredibly easy to manipulate, that’s because it is. If the NFL really cared about preventing their players from taking drugs, it wouldn’t be so transparent about when it tests. But we know that the NFL doesn’t actually care about things like that. Roger Goodell only cares about drugs insofar as they affect the NFL’s public image.
Whether or not you celebrate our most famous unofficial holiday today, shed a (small) tear for the NFL players who enjoy weed safely, but are forced to pay lip service to a ridiculous, ineffectual system. See you on August 10, NFL potheads!