By John Boyle
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman won his appeal of a four-game suspension last season because he was able to show that there were irregularities in the testing process, but even if he got off on what some people thought was a technicality, he always maintained his innocence. It’s a bit strange, then, that Sherman is now suggesting that the NFL should go ahead and make Adderall, the prescription drug he and Brandon Browner both reportedly tested positive for, legal because it is so widely used.
While in Vancouver to talk to elementary school kids, Sherman chatted with a reporter from the Vancouver Sun, and in that interview he said “about half the league takes it,” referring to Adderall.
“About half the league takes it (Adderall) and the league has to allow it,” Sherman told the Vancouver Sun. “The league made a mistake in my case. Obviously, I didn’t do anything, but you have to go through a process to prove you didn’t do anything. There are still naysayers out there who don’t believe me. But I accept it. If everybody loves you, it probably means you’re not much of a player.”
And let’s be clear here, that’s not Sherman admitting he took Adderall. He in fact denies wrong doing again, yet it does seem like an odd approach for a player reported to have failed a test for taking the drug to advocate for the league allowing it.
It’s hard to imagine that anywhere close to half the league is taking Adderall—we’d see more positive tests if that were the case—and my guess is Sherman would admit there was a bit of hyperbole in that estimate, but the number of recent failed drug tests liked to Adderall does bring up the question of just how prevalent the drug is in football.
The issue is complicated by the fact that the NFL is not allowed to say what drug a player tested positive for when announcing a suspension. We hear that they violated the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances, but we have no idea what the player took. As a result, if a player was taking steroids and got caught, there’s nothing stopping him or his agent from blaming Adderall, a drug that comes with less of a stigma than steroids.
UPDATE: Sherman said via Twitter that he was misquoted, and while he didn’t specifically say it was regarding the Vancouver Sun article, it’s probably safe to assume that’s what he is referring to.
Haha I love the misquoting and made up stories lol good entertainment.
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) April 10, 2013