I became a huge fan of current NFL player Eugene Monroe when he became vocal about his support for cannabis reform in football. I became an even bigger fan when he donated $10k of his own money towards marijuana research, and encouraged other NFL players to do the same. The owner of the Baltimore Ravens, the team which Eugene plays for, came out in support of his player, all of which led to some very constructive conversations in sports media and beyond.
I have been a Cincinnati Bengals fan for awhile now, but I think it's safe to say that this next year I'll be rooting for the Ravens. It's impossible for me not to, considering that Eugene Monroe is obviously my favorite player now. I have said it many times before, and will say it many times following this article - what Eugene Monroe did took a ton of courage. I have to assume he has been 'randomly' drug tested several times since expressing his support for research and reform.
Eugene Monroe is looking into his future, and I'd imagine some of it scares him. I'm sure he has read the stories about ex-players and the issues many experience from brain injuries. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is something that every NFL player has to worry about, both current and retired. Google the medical term and 'NFL' and you will read some very sad, very disturbing stories. No one should have to live like that. Not when there's a better way.
Cannabis is that better way. Cannabis can help current and former NFL players, and all athletes that suffer from injuries related to a lifetime of playing sports. There's an organization out there that is trying to raise funds to conduct CBD-related research. That organization is Realm of Caring, and they are starting a new campaign called the 'When the Bright Lights Fade.' Below is more information about it, via their website:
A recent study conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University shows 96% of former NFL players suffer from the neurodegenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is widely believed to stem from repetitive trauma to the head and can lead to conditions such as memory loss, depression and dementia.
The Realm of Caring Foundation (RoC) is launching When the Bright Lights Fade, a campaign to raise funds for a series of studies exploring how the use of cannabinoids, specifically cannabidiol (known as CBD), can help treat and prevent the onset of symptoms associated with CTE and traumatic brain injury.
They are auctioning off all kinds of cool stuff to help raise funds. My favorite item is a game-worn NFL jersey autographed and donated by Eugene Monroe. If I wasn't such a broke blogger, I'd swoop it for myself! All of the money goes towards the research fund, which I think is very, very cool. There's a lot of sports memorabilia out there, but when you purchase something through this fundraiser, you not only get a quality item, but you can also feel good knowing that the money went to a very worthy cause. Very cool! Below is a video that talks more about the organization and campaign, as narrated by award winning musician Melissa Etheridge: