While appearing on Bill Simmons' HBO talk show "Any Given Wednesday," former NFL running back Ricky Williams talked about the NFL's drug policies, especially the league's stance on marijuana use.
Along with New York Magazine's Rembert Browne, Williams said the rules feel archaic and backward in a way, especially because marijuana is looked down upon so harshly. Williams said he believes that the NFL is not the only one to blame for the rules.
"I think a lot of the time the NFL gets the blame, but it's something that's negotiated in the collective bargaining agreement," Williams said. "I think what it comes down to is the players say we rather have more money. I think the owners use the drug policy as leverage for us to give up other things."
Simmons asked Williams if he would have made the Hall of Fame if marijuana was legal in the NFL.
"For sure, no doubt about it," Williams responded. "I look at the amount of stress and things that distracted me from playing football surrounding cannabis. I look at the first half of my career when it was pretty much a secret, no one knew that I used and I could do it as I wished. And the last part of my career, I think I would have started and I would've had more touches."
Williams played 11 years in the league, spending the most time with the Miami Dolphins but also playing for the New Orleans Saints and the Baltimore Ravens. The former Heisman Trophy winner had his best season in 2002, racking up 1,853 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground. Williams would finish his career with just over 10,000 yards rushing.
Williams missed the 2006 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.