Show Percy Some Mercy
Mercy: Compassionate treatment, especially of those under one’s power
Media outlets reported yesterday that the Minnesota Vikings are trading all-pro wide receiver Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks. Based on Harvin’s history, it is almost as if fate is telling the NFL it is time to change one of its most unjust and irrational policies.
It’s no secret that Percy Harvin has used marijuana. Percy tested positive for marijuana at the 2009 NFL combine, which was the reason why he was selected late in the first round instead of being a high pick. It’s also no secret that Percy – like many of us – suffers from severe migraines. Many have speculated that Percy used marijuana to treat these notoriously untreatable and unbearable headaches. In fact, Percy missed significant game and practice time with the Vikings due to migraines once he was forced to abstain – due to NFL rules (PDF) – from using marijuana as a treatment option.
Percy is now on his way to Washington, where this past November, voters made the use of marijuana legal for all adults 21 and over. Percy is now free, under state law, to use marijuana in the privacy of his own home. It is a right he should be able to enjoy as a citizen.
The NFL, as we all know, is an organization flush with advertising and sponsorship money from the alcohol industry. It is time for the league to stand up to its alcohol masters and reverse its policy that punishes players who simply choose to use a far less harmful substance.