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Eugene Monroe will continue fight for medical marijuana in the NFL

Vincent Frank

Earlier in the week, former Baltimore Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe was noticeably absent from the team’s off-season activities, at which point the Ravens made it clear that they would either trade or release him.

Baltimore made good on that threat, releasing its starting left tackle on Wednesday.

Following the release, there was some speculation that Baltimore’s reasoning surrounded Monroe’s lobbying of the NFL to change its drug policy. Monroe has been an outspoken advocate of the league allowing players to use medial marijuana (more on that here).

In announcing his release, the Broncos curiously decided to mention Monroe’s advocacy while making sure to note that they didn’t support it.

“Monroe had surgery to repair a torn labrum (shoulder) this offseason, and used the time off to become the first active NFL player to openly campaign for the use of medical marijuana,” the team’s statement read. “The Ravens did not rally behind the cause.”

Now, a day following his release, Monroe put out a statement on Twitter suggesting that his advocacy of medical marijuana played a role in his release.

I will not be returning to the Ravens this season. It’s never easy moving on — I love Baltimore and its fans — but this is all part of the game,” the statement read. “Despite the current uncertainties, one thing is for sure. Whatever happens in terms of my professional football career, I will never stop pushing for the league to accept medical cannabis as a viable option for pain management.”

This all comes after Monroe himself was able to set up a meeting between scientists and the league that covered the possibility of expanding the NFL’s pain management regimen to include medical marijuana.

The Ravens will never admit that Monroe’s outspoken support of this “drug” was the primary reason for his release, but we can read between the lines here.

You don’t release your starting left tackle this late in the summer without something serious happening behind the scenes. Never a player that found himself in trouble off the field, we can look at the common denominator here and draw a reasonable conclusion.

If that’s the case, the Ravens should be ashamed.