As a Chicago Bulls fan of the 1990s, I’ll never forget Michael Jordan forgoing a championship-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1997 NBA Finals and passing the ball to three-point specialist Steve Kerr. His swish sealed the fifth of six championships for da Bulls over the Utah Jazz.
Kerr won five championships as a player – three with Jordan’s Bulls then another two with Tim Duncan’s Spurs. Since then, Kerr has become a champion as a coach as well, winning the title two seasons ago with the Golden State Warriors.
Now in an interview with the Golden State Warriors’ official podcast, Kerr admits to his use of marijuana for medicinal purposes and questions whether the professional sports leagues should continue to test and penalize players for marijuana use:
“I guess maybe I can even get in some trouble for this, but I’ve actually tried [marijuana] twice during the last year and a half, when I’ve been going through this chronic pain that I’ve been dealing with.”
Kerr admits that he isn’t certain whether the NBA will punish him for his revelation, saying he doesn’t even know if the NBA has rules for coaches.
Kerr then discusses the use of marijuana as a pain reliever for athletes seeking a safer alternative to opioid painkillers.
“If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you’ve got a lot of pain, I don’t think there is any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin. And yet athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C, like it’s no big deal. I know enough, especially over the last couple years, having gone through my own bout with chronic pain, I know enough about this stuff – Vicodin is not good for you. It’s way worse for you than pot, especially if you’re looking for a painkiller and you’re talking about medicinal marijuana, the different strains what they’re able to do with it as a pain reliever.”
Kerr seemed hopeful that the sports leagues would come around on the issue, saying it is only “a matter of time” before basketball, baseball, and football leagues come around on the issue.
“There’s this perception in our country that over-the-counter drugs are fine, but pot is bad… I would hope, especially for these NFL guys, who are basically involved in a car wreck every Sunday – and maybe four days later, the following Thursday, which is another insane thing the NFL does – I would hope that league will come to its senses and institute a different sort of program where they can help these guys get healthier rather than getting hooked on these painkillers.”
We couldn’t have said it better, coach! Congratulations on now becoming a champion for the issue of medical marijuana in sports!