Report: Randy Gregory Sues Broncos, NFL for Discrimination

The man just wants to enjoy the therapeutic affects of THC use.
August 19, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Randy Gregory (5) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
August 19, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Randy Gregory (5) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

When the Denver Broncos traded Randy Gregory to the San Francisco 49ers at the deadline last season, the 31-year-old exited town without any recriminations or sour grapes. Gregory's placid reaction felt a little strange at the time, but now the failed ex-Broncos edge rusher is coming after his former team through the courts. 

Via court documents obtained by Parker Gabriel of The Denver Post on Wednesday, Gregory has filed an action in Arapahoe County District Court claiming discrimination by his former team and the NFL.

Gregory reportedly cites how he was fined over half a million dollars ($532,500) for failing a succession of drug tests for the use of THC. Of course, tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, and Gregory claims he used it to treat both social anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders.

Gregory was reportedly fined repeatedly by the league since March 2023 for taking a form of prescribed synthetic THC called Dronabinol. Despite the NFL handing down such fines under the framework laid out by the collective bargaining agreement between the league and players union, the Broncos still find themselves potentially being dragged into messy legal proceedings.

As the statement released by Gregory's agent Peter Schaffer suggests, raising the lawsuit in Colorado has everything to do with how state laws allow citizens to use Marijuana. 

“This is a serious effort by Randy to push the NFL forward on alternative methods for pain management options,” Gregory’s agent, Peter Schaffer, told The Denver Post. “If a doctor prescribes hydrocodone, that’s completely legal and much worse for the player, yet the player doesn’t get suspended or fined. Randy’s not trying to buck the system, but he’s paying $500,000 in fines for something that anybody else in the state of Colorado can do. All we want is reasonable accommodation to allow Randy to treat his disabilities at the direction of his treating physician.”

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Moving forward, it stands to reason that the case will be fought over the stark juxtaposition between the league refusing Gregory's frequent applications to relieve therapeutic exemptions, and the legal and recreational use of THC in Colorado.

That will form the meat and potatoes of Gregory's case, whereby the now Tampa Bay Buccaneers defender will argue how the league and Broncos are discriminating against him because of his "disabilities" on account of working under the NFL banner.

In the bigger picture, it could make for some interesting legal precedents being set for other players. Long has the NFL been faced with the option to turn the other cheek in the face of failed tests for marijuana.

Should he be successful in the courts, Gregory could be framed as a trailblazer who took on the establishment and won. In the meantime, the lawyers will find themselves in gainful employment once again.

Gregory's long history of falling afoul of the NFL and his former teams over his ongoing drug use will continue to on apace.

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Keith Cummings

KEITH CUMMINGS

Keith Cummings has covered the Denver Broncos at Mile High Huddle since 2019. His works have been featured on CBSSports.com, BleacherReport.com, Yahoo.com, and MSN.com.