Former Vikings receiver opens up about his drug use during his career

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Percy Harvin
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Percy Harvin /

Former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin recently spoke with Bleacher Report and he revealed he smoked marijuana throughout his NFL career.

Back in 2009, it didn’t take very long for the Minnesota Vikings to realize they had landed a special player in wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Even as a rookie, Harvin quickly emerged as one of the most electrifying receivers in the entire league during his first season with the Vikings. As both a returner and a pass catcher, he added a unique element to Minnesota’s roster that helped them make it all the way to the 2009 NFC Championship.

Harvin ended up playing for a total of five years in a Vikings uniform before things became sour and he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks in 2013.

Even though his time in Minnesota didn’t last as long as some would’ve hoped, his tenure with the team is still a memorable one. Harvin made a number of jaw-dropping plays that provided Vikings fans with at least a little bit of joy during a time when the team wasn’t very successful.

Even with his impressive moments on the field, the receiver also had a number of forgetful off-the-field moments during his NFL career.

Before Harvin was even drafted, he tested positive for marijuana at the league’s Scouting Combine in 2009. This caused him to slip in the draft and if not for this positive test, Minnesota likely wouldn’t have had a chance to select him with the 22nd pick.

In a recent interview with Bleacher Report’s Master Tesfatsion, Harvin admitted that his marijuana use never stopped after he was drafted and he used it as something to help him deal with his anxiety.

"“I had at least seven prescriptions that I was to take, from Zoloft and all the other ones I was taking. And the only thing that really seemed to work is when I would smoke marijuana. There’s not a game, there’s not a game I played in that I wasn’t high. And that’s what I want the world to kind of see today is it’s not a stigma and, you know, people doing it and getting in a whole bunch of trouble. It’s people that’s just living regular life that just got deficiencies or just maybe want to enjoy themselves, it’s a natural way to do so.”"

Harvin is the latest former NFL player to admit frequent marijuana use during his playing career. Former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long recently revealed that he also used the substance during his time in the league.

Can anyone really blame these guys though? Instead of becoming addicted to dangerous pain-killers and prescription pills, they were able to find a safer alternative that likely worked even better for dealing with the pain from their injuries.

With guys like Harvin and Long coming out and admitting their frequent usage of marijuana during their playing careers, is the NFL getting closer to allowing players to use the substance as a pain-treating alternative?

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Don’t hold your breath, but even if the league still continues to hand out punishments for smoking marijuana, more and more players are finding ways to not get caught.