Ricky Williams smoked marijuana a few times in high school, and a couple of times when he played football for the University of Texas. But the first time he noticed the drug helped him relax was during his senior year of college.
“I had a really bad breakup with my girlfriend,” Williams said. “And she started dating the quarterback, like the day after we broke up.”
Williams’ roommate noticed he was distraught, and suggested he smoke marijuana.
“I did,” Williams said. “And that was the first time I noticed, ‘Wow, this helps.'”
Williams, the 1998 Heisman Trophy winner, was drafted No. 5 overall by the Saints in the 1999 NFL draft. It wasn’t until his second year in New Orleans that he said he began smoking on a regular basis. “I really used it as an aid to recovery,” he said. “After busting my ass at practice, I’d come home and smoke a little bit, and I felt good. It helped me get up the next day, ready to go back to work.”
Williams is best known today as a cautionary tale for the NFL’s long-standing — and harsh — disciplinary system for players who smoke weed. [Read more at ESPN]