NFL: How Do Football Players Go to the Bathroom During a Game?

When you gotta go you gotta go but when you’re in the NFL and playing in front of thousands of fans, where do you go?

That’s a question that many people have wondered about over the years, however, it’s not something too many athletes care to discuss. It is a legitimate question though especially since we know the players have to stay hydrated on gameday and with all that Gatorade flowing, they must need to urinate at some point during a three-hour game. So what do they do?

Hold it the whole time? Try to run off the field during a commercial break? Or something else?

NFL Logo
NFL Logo | Nick Laham/Getty Images

Of course, the having-to-go urge while playing in a game extends beyond just NFL players.

“Every single athlete has to deal with this in a different way, but one thing is the same: No one ever talks about it,” Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson of the U.S. women’s national hockey team told ESPN. “It’s a pretty universal thing we all share, relative to everybody: Everyone has to go.”

Where other athletes go?

MLB fans have witnessed what some baseball players choose to do when they need to relieve themselves. They take a restroom break while the game is being played.

You may recall when former Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez calmly walked over to the Green Monster and disappeared behind a door during a pitching change in 2005. He returned before actually missing a pitch and the moment was just thought of as one of those “Manny being Manny” instances. But the outfielder proved that day just how powerful nature’s call was.

Angels pitcher Jered Weaver also experienced having to go at an inconvenient time. In 2012, he was only three outs away from a no-hitter but couldn’t bear the urge any longer and rushed to the clubhouse bathroom as fast as he could. Likely feeling much better, he returned to the mound and got the last batters he needed out to cement his place in history.

Some other athletes like Michael Phelps have it a bit easier when they want to go. Yes, the greatest Olympian of all time has admitted that he has peed in the pool during many of his races.

Where NFL players pee?

Channing Crowder and Dolphins teammates
Channing Crowder | Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Since we don’t see too many players doing disappearing acts during NFL games and there is no pool for them to relieve themselves in, there must be another tactic they have.

Well, you may be shocked, or grossed out, to learn that sometimes they just go on themselves right in plain sight. According to former Miami Dolphins star Channing Crowder, he did just that in every single NFL game he played in.

“I would just be in the huddle, just pee, like you wouldn’t even … nobody in the stands would know unless you looked down like ‘That … That’s not water, man!'” he said.

And Crowder isn’t alone. “Guys are peeing all over the sideline in every game, into cups, on the ground, in towels, behind the bench, in their pants, everywhere,” Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil explained.

Some players though try to be discreet about urinating on the sideline. In 2011, Nick Novak was the kicker for the then-San Diego Chargers and was crouching down trying to go but was caught by one of CBS’ cameras. As Kalil pointed out though while fans may not have been aware, it’s common knowledge among the players that everyone is relieving themselves during the game wherever they can.

So now you know.