We’ve covered issues regarding cannabis in the NFL in the past, and even in NCAA football. But the majority of that coverage was about the fact that many former and current players are speaking out about their support for the league to allow players to use medical cannabis for pain management instead of potentially harmful pills. This time, the focus is on a head-scratching decision made by the New England Patriots before they played the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 52.
Fans and sportscasters alike questioned New England’s decision to bench cornerback Malcolm Butler, especially for the big game. There have been reports that cannabis might have had something to do with that decision. A Tweet sent out by user Joey Pigskins says that Butler missed curfew and was caught with weed the night before the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss.
“A family friend who I trust, is well connected in law enforcement and was in Minny this week with local cops told me Butler missed curfew, got caught with weed when he came back late to hotel, and subsequently had a meltdown on coaches,” the Tweet reads.
This tweet angered many Patriots fans that thought that Joey Pigskins was accusing Butler of something that the Twitter user had no evidence of him doing. There has been no confirmation that any of the allegations are true as of right now. Pigskins later sent out a clarification Tweet, saying that the reason for the initial Tweet was meant for clarification to Patriots fans that want an explanation of why Butler was benched.
“I am not a reporter. I am not accusing anyone of anything. Was passing along info from a friend that was the best explanation I have heard and thought would bring some clarity to fellow Pats fans. Please stop making this more than that,” said Pigskins.
New England head coach Bill Belichick, who is notorious for being tight-lipped when it comes to his media press conferences, offered little explanation for the decision to bench Butler.
“I appreciate the question, but it would be a much longer discussion. There are a lot of things that go into that. In the end, the final decision is what I said it was,” Belichick said.
The decision to bench Butler frustrated many Patriots fans, as they thought the veteran cornerback’s presence on the field would have given the team a better chance at winning their record-tying sixth Lombardi trophy. Instead, former Eagle Eric Rowe replaced Butler, and the Patriots lost to the Eagles, 41-33.