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Sports stars and cannabidiol
Cannabinoid advocacy in sports has been led by the stars who participate in it. This pressure from some of the world’s greats eventually led to its approval, and since then, those same stars have been the ones to endorse it more widely.
For some star athletes, their testimonies are borne out of personal experience, while for others it has come from the growing scientific reviews that support its effectiveness.
In all, many sports athletes now endorse mainstream cannabidiol use, while others have gone a step further in setting up ventures specializing in cultivation, distribution, and marketing.
5 sports stars endorsing cannabidiol
Mike Tyson is boxing legend, a former World Heavyweight Champion known globally in all sports circles for his skills and antics in the ring. Well-known for his outspoken support for recreational cannabis, Tyson is probably the most influential sports star on this list. There are many reports chronicling Tyson’s supportive views on cannabis while actively competing, and as such, it became no surprise that Tyson increased his cannabis advocacy drives even after retiring. Beyond merely endorsing cannabis use, Tyson has ventured into the cultivation and marketing of cannabis, cannabis-derived products, and cannabis-branded paraphernalia. In 2017, Mike Tyson announced plans to start a cannabis farm by taking advantage of California’s pro-cannabis laws.
Tyson’s cannabis farm, Tyson Ranch, is established on a 40-acre landscape in a serene part of California. Created as a profit-driven venture, the farm is designed to grow and extract cannabis products. This farm boasts of a technology-driven extraction facility, an edible factory, and a hydro-feed plant and supply store. Tyson Ranch is also designed to include cannabis-themed resorts, campsites, and cabins, which provide a sense of adventure for potential customers. In 2019, Tyson was quoted to have said that the Ranch rakes in a monthly revenue of $500,000. The management team at Tyson Ranch sure understands the cannabis business as products from this venture are widely available in California’s dispensaries and in Las Vegas.
Rob Gronkowski is a former NFL star who retired from professional play in 2019 after a nine-year trophy-laden career. Gronk, as he is popularly called, is a three-time Super Bowl champion with an estimated career earning over $50 million. His career in the NFL included a myriad of injury woes that limited his time of play. As Gronkowski would later reveal in an interview session, his father was the first to introduce a CBD product to him.
In September 2019, the former New England Patriot announced his post-NFL career in a press conference: to venture into the cannabis business. Subsequently, he announced his partnership and investment with Abacus Health Products, a fitness-oriented company promoting different CBD-derived products. This partnership has seen the sales of Abacus fitness products soar significantly. Gronkowski continues to voice his support for CBD in the management of pain and inflammation in athletes.
Megan Rapinoe is a two-time Women’s World Cup champion, best known for her heroic display in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. At the end of the tournament, Rapinoe was named FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, becoming the first U.S. senior soccer team member to clinch the title since 2016. Currently, Rapinoe is considered the most influential female soccer star to have publicly supported the use of cannabidiol in athletes. She is also known for her advocacy views on aligning equality and social justice.
In 2019, Rapinoe teamed up with her fraternal twin sister, Rachael Rapinoe, to partner with Mendi, a Portland-based, female-led organization co-founded by Rachael that advocates for the use of the cannabis-derived product in sports. Megan Rapinoe helps the organization in its fight to disrupt the stigma of cannabis use in sports by signing with Mendi as an athlete and a strategic advisor. This partnership is aimed at promoting Mendi’s line of cannabis-derived products free from THC for athletes on the field.
Nate Diaz is a UFC mixed martial artist popularly known for his liberal views on cannabis use in sports. In 2016, after a big fight with Connor McGregor, Nate created quite a controversy by honestly admitting that he was vaping cannabis oil throughout an interview session with journalists. At that point, CBD was prohibited for use in sports by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, Nate escaped suspension after his post-match urine test came back negative for cannabis. Coincidentally, Nate’s brother, Nick Diaz, was suspended in 2015 after testing positive to cannabis.
Known for their support for cannabis use in sports, the Diaz brothers took a step forward in their advocacy drive and established a CBD company called Game Up Nutrition. Game Up is a plant-based wellness company producing a quality line of cannabis-derived products, including hemp flower, CBD oil, and CBD pre-rolls.
Steve Kerr is a seven-time NBA champion, a former superstar of the Chicago Bulls, and the current Golden State Warriors Coach. Known for his long-standing support for CBD’s use in sports, Kerr has also publicly admitted he uses pot—a major controversy that created headlines in major sports newspapers. In 2018, Kerr endorsed the legal sale of cannabis in California while also calling for the review of the strict NBA regulation concerning cannabis use.
Kerr has been very vocal in his support of the use of cannabis in sports and while it is still regulated under NBA rules, Kerr continues to advocate for the use of cannabis-derived products in the management of injury-related pain and inflammation in athletes.