Former NFL star running back Ricky Williams is best known for loving weed more than football, but he wishes his two passions could have co-existed.
Not only that, but Williams believes he would have risen to the pinnacle of pro football if weed wasn’t a banned substance. Appearing on the HBO show “Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons,” he was asked if he’d be a Hall of Famer if marijuana was legal: “For sure. No doubt about it,” he said.
He also says he pot gave him a bad rap.
“I look at the amount of stress and things that distracted me from playing football surrounding cannabis,” Williams said. “Also the negative media coverage I got really tarnished my image.”
Despite having his career cut short by suspensions and the stress that came with his contrasting passions (pot and football), Williams still managed to rush for 10,009 yards and 66 touchdowns during his NFL career.
One of the best college players to enter the NFL in the past couple of decades, that he possessed Hall of Fame talent isn’t a question.
That said, it’s impossible to say whether or not Williams would have made it to the Hall if he had been able to play out his career. There’s also the whole aspect where he knew smoking pot was illegal and still chose to do it.
This is the same choice guys like Martavis Bryant (season-long suspension), Josh Gordon (recent conditional reinstatement after one-year ban) and others have made in recent years. They are no less talented than Williams was when he was playing, and they continue to choose the drug over football.