Steelers Running Back Le'Veon Bell Said He Regularly Smoked Weed Prior to NFL Games
Bell was hit with two drug-related suspensions before the NFL finally stopped busting players for weed in 2020.
Published on June 1, 2023

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Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell recently told the press that he used to regularly light up before playing pro games. 

Bell opened up about his cannabis use during a recent interview on Barstool Sports' “Steel Here” podcast, which focuses specifically on the Steelers. In the podcast, the running back confirmed the popular rumors about his renowned love for weed. Bell openly admitted to smoking pot regularly during his stint with the Steelers, and said that he even lit up immediately before hitting the field.

“That’s what I did,” Bell told podcast host Jersey Jerry, according to The Guardian. “When I was playing football, I smoked, bro. Even before the games, I’d smoke and I’d go out there and run for 150 [yards], two [touchdowns].”

Bell's love for the leaf has gotten him in hot water before, though. The NFL suspended Bell for two games back in 2015 after he was arrested for cannabis possession during a DUI traffic stop. The following year, the league suspended him again for failing to show up for multiple mandatory drug tests. This time, officials chose to suspend him for four games, but they agreed to knock the punishment down to three games after he appealed.

And although he didn't exactly explain why he chose to skip those drug tests, he did acknowledge some of the rumors that were circulating about him. "I just let everybody say what they want to say," he told the Associated Press in 2016. "People who say I smoke weed, that's fine. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. The people who know me know the person I am."

While playing for the Steelers from 2013 to 2017, Bell was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and a two-time All-Pro. He skipped the 2018 season during an extended contractual battle, then joined the New York Jets for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Since then, he has been a free agent, playing with the Baltimore Ravens and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Over the course of his career, he has played 96 NFL games, ran 1,595 times, and made 42 touchdowns.

Bell sat out the 2022 NFL season to focus on a pro boxing career, but he told Barstool Sports that he isn't planning to retire from football yet. And now that the NFL has finally updated its outdated cannabis policies, Bell doesn't have to worry about getting busted for bud again. In 2020, the league agreed to stop suspending ballers who choose to get high. But unlike the NBA, the NFL still does check for cannabis during routine drug tests and will fine players who test positive for THC.

Chris Moore
Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.
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