NFL

Former Heisman Winner Ricky Williams First Began Smoking Weed Because of a Heartbreak He Suffered at the Hands of His Ex-Girlfriend

Former Texas star Ricky Williams had an interesting football career. He was a superstar college football player and then found success in the NFL, but didn’t quite live up to expectations in the pros. One thing that kept him off the field in the NFL was his repeated failed drug tests, but he has since made a business out of his marijuana passion. So, how did Ricky Williams get introduced to marijuana? Apparently, it has everything to do with an ex-girlfriend that broke his heart.

Ricky Williams has made his love for marijuana clear

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Ricky Williams was a star in college but could not stay on the field in the NFL. According to Sports Illustrated, the NFL suspended Williams multiple times for marijuana throughout his career. He even retired prior to the 2004 season, at only 27 years old, after failing a drug test for a third time. 

Williams then played again in 2005, but the NFL suspended him for the entire 2006 season after a fourth failed drug test. He then reportedly failed another test in 2007, and he eventually had to take multiple tests per week while applying for reinstatement.

Williams last played in the NFL in 2011, and he has since made a business out of marijuana. According to a 2018 article for USA Today, Williams founded a line of cannabis-based products. It is called “Real Wellness by Ricky Williams.”

So, how did Williams get introduced to marijuana? The answer is surprising.

He started smoking weed because of a broken heart

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Ricky Williams recently appeared on Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay, and he gave an interesting story about how he started smoking weed during his senior year with the Texas Longhorns — the same year he won the Heisman Trophy.

“My girlfriend, my girl for two years, we broke up, and right after we broke up, I went to her house to bring her stuff back, and the quarterback on the football team’s car was parked [in front],” Williams said on the March 2 episode. “… I was obsessing about this, and my friend was like ‘Dude, you gotta chill.’ So, he just brought it out, and he said ‘you gotta hit this.’ And I did, and it was the first time where I was like ‘OK, I wasn’t obsessing, I wasn’t thinking about it. I can sleep and relax.’ And from that moment I noticed, ‘OK, this can be helpful to me.’”

Well, that’s interesting. So, who was the quarterback?

He said it was the backup quarterback and that the former player is actually still married to Williams’ ex. According to KVUE ABC, Richard Walton was initially the starter that year, but got hurt, and Major Applewhite then became the starter.

There were other quarterbacks on the roster, too, though. The other QBs were Greg Cicero, Adam Dunn (yes, baseball star Adam Dunn), Robert Koy, and Ryan O’Neill, per the Texas site.

However, no matter who it was, the situation ultimately launched Ricky Williams’ love for marijuana.

“I wasn’t even smoking before then,” Williams said. “Everything was good. After that, it wasn’t so good no more.”

Ricky Williams won a Heisman Trophy and became a legend

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Despite struggling to stay on the field in the NFL, Williams still became a football legend.

At Texas, Ricky Williams ran for over 1,200 yards every season from 1996 through 1998 and capped off his legendary career by running for 2,124 yards and 27 touchdowns in 1998, which helped him win the Heisman Trophy.

Williams then went to the New Orleans Saints with the No. 5 overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft and ended up running for 1,000 yards or more in every season from 2000 through 2003. He even led the NFL in rushing yards in 2002 with the Miami Dolphins by running for 1,853 yards. Williams then didn’t play in 2004 or 2006, missed four games in 2005, and only played in one game in 2007. However, he ran for over 1,100 yards again in 2009 with the Dolphins.

Overall, in his NFL career, Williams ran for 10,009 yards and 66 touchdowns. That’s pretty impressive, considering how much time he missed.

His cannabis and marijuana endeavors may have kept him off the field at times, but Ricky Williams still became a football legend.

Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference and Sports Reference