Irving: Eighty Percent Of NFL Players Use Marijuana

In his first radio interview since retiring, former Cowboys star David Irving opened up about his quest to change the NFL’s stance on medicinal marijuana

Tiki and Tierney
April 02, 2019 - 6:42 pm
David Irving Dallas Cowboys

USA Today Images


In his first radio interview since retiring, former Cowboys defensive tackle David Irving opened up about his quest to change the NFL’s stance on medicinal marijuana.

Irving, 25, was suspended indefinitely in March for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He missed four games for violating that policy in 2018 and four games in 2017 for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Irving uses marijuana to manage pain. The NFL, however, does not allow that, which prompted Irving to call it a career.

“On the surface, it looks like an NFL problem, but honestly, it's an NFLPA problem,” Irving said on Tiki & Tierney. “The truth is, we’ve accepted these terms over the years. I don’t understand how, I don’t understand why, but we have – and now we’re in this position where we want change and we’re mad at the NFL (when) it was our fault to begin with.”

Irving, who went undrafted in 2015, played for the Cowboys for the last four years. He believes NFL players must band together and fight for the right to use medical marijuana.

“Eighty percent of each team participates in the use of medical marijuana – if not higher,” Irving said. “If I’m a player rep for my team and we take all the player reps from every team and we get all our players together and go do something together, what is the NFL going to do? We are the NFL. I think it’s time we start acting like it. You do not have jersey sales without us players. You just don’t. Why are we settling? We make the least amount of money. Nothing is guaranteed. It’s literally our jobs to get concussions every single day. We’re going to get hurt, and then they offer us opioids. I don’t agree with that.”

Irving believes that the NFL’s backward stance on marijuana has hurt him as a player and as a person. It’s also hurt his pocket book.

“I’ve dealt with defamation,” he said. “I choose to medicate with medical marijuana, and now I’m this big drug addict and they’re sending me off to rehab. Now, no matter how great I play, I’m not going to get paid accordingly because I’m this big drug addict guy. It hurts me in the football world and off the field.”

Jerry Jones, it is worth noting, is apparently in Irving’s corner.

“It’s funny. Jerry actually stated his opinion openly: he’s with me,” Irving said. “Obviously his hands are tied. He can’t do certain things he would like to do, but Jerry is a great man. We’ve always had a great rapport. I loved playing for that man. Honestly, if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be on the phone talking, speaking with you guys. He’s helped me with a lot of things he didn’t have to help me with. That man believes in me. I want to give a shout-out to Jerry. He’s like-minded. He agrees with me, he understands what it is, and he’s pushing for what I’m pushing for.”

If the NFL changes its stance on marijuana, Irving might try to return to the league.

“That’s something to think about,” he said. “It does all depend. That will take away a lot of issues that we’re having – I would say I, but we’re having. The medical laws, they are not what they should be. . . . Everyone has their own mindset and own opinion, but if things change, who knows? I can’t tell you at this point.”

In other news, Irving has signed as a spokesperson for U.S. Weed Channel and will be one of the hosts for the Live Launch & Benefit for the Deaf on April 19 in Las Vegas. The show will be produced by music mogul Charlie Mac.

Click below to listen to Irving’s interview in its entirety.