Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe announced on Twitter that he will donate $10,000 to marijuana research and has called on his fellow NFL players also contribute.
Monroe has donated to the Realm of Carings Foundation, which looks into the health benefits of marijuana as a form of therapy. Monroe has been a proponent for changing the NFL's stance on marijuana as a possible benefit to combat pain and concussions.
Rather than rely on opioids and noninflammatory medications, Monroe said many NFL players would prefer to turn to marijuana to help with pain relief as there is concern over getting addicted to certain pain medications.
Many former NFL players report suffering from memory loss and depression, likely caused by CTE, a brain disease shown to be linked to football-related head trauma. Several players, including Junior Seau and Dave Duerson, have committed suicide and shown signs of CTE.
Jeff Miller, the NFL's senior vice president for health and safety, testified before the House of Representatives on Monday and was asked by Illinois congresswoman Jan Schakowsky whether he thinks “there is a link between football and degenerative brain disorders like CTE.” Miller confirmed the connection.
NFL officials have previously declined to say whether football is to blame for former players’ brain diseases.