Embattled Dallas Cowboys defensive end David Irving posted an Instagram Live video Thursday night in which he railed against the NFL’s drug policy and appeared to smoke marijuana, according to USA Today. In the video, which lasted nearly 20 minutes, Irving ranted about the league’s drug policy and expressed his frustration with facing his third ban for substance abuse in as many seasons. Irving’s current suspension is an indefinite one, and it was handed down by the league office at the end of February.
“Basically guys, I quit,” Irving said in the rambling, expletive-laden diatribe. “There’s a lot of f***ed-up s**t up with the league.”
Then Irving describes marijuana as “this medicine right here,” and not-so-gently suggests that given modern medical research into the benefits of marijuana, the league would be better served supporting him and other players using weed to help alleviate pain and deal with psychological issues. Rather than turning to highly addictive opioids, Irving argues, the negative results of which he says he has witnessed first-hand, the NFL should at least consider loosening the rules around a natural plant that the vast majority of research suggests is not anywhere near as addictive as opioids.
“f I’m going to be addicted to something, I’d rather it be marijuana, which is medical,” Irving said. “I do not consider it a drug, rather than the Xanax bars or the hydro[codone] or the Seroquel and all that crazy s**t that they feed you. Like I said, it ain’t about smoking weed.”
“Plants over pills. I don’t want to be f***ing brain-dead when I’m 50.”
Irving was first signed as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa State by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015, and from there the Cowboys picked him up off the Chiefs’ practice squad. Since then he has re-upped with Dallas for one-year contracts each of the last two seasons.
Despite sitting out part of each of the last two seasons with drug suspensions – in 2017 for performance-enhancing drugs and in 2018 via the league’s substance abuse policy – Irving has shown tremendous promise. He chalked up seven sacks and deflected six passes in 2017 despite missing four games, and when he is actually on the field, he is a presence on the team’s defense.
However, his time with Dallas is likely over, and given his rant and on-camera smoking, his time in the NFL may well be at an end, too.
“I love football, don’t get me wrong,” he said. “However, I don’t love the NFL.”