Reefer Madness: Marijuana Enthusiast Ricky Williams Face of SF ‘Pot Gym’

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 21: Running back Ricky Williams #34 of the Miami Dolphins exhales during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 21, 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

After years of repeated fines and suspensions drug and testing issues, former Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams has announced a role working for the world’s first “cannabis-friendly gym.”

Williams claims the new gym, dubbed Power Plant Fitness, will work to defeat the lazy stoner image that pot has developed and will present customers in San Francisco with a health regime “balanced” for the body and the mind.

The team proposing the gym say pot use doesn’t run contrary to good health and with Williams as their face they hope his athletic prowess will convince people that the two can coexist.

The 1998 Heisman Trophy-winner, of course, had repeated bouts with the NFL because of the numerous times he failed drug tests during his career.

In an interview with International Business Times, Williams criticized the NFL for giving him such a hard time over his pot use.

“I was a really good football player, a really good person, my teammates loved me, my coaches loved me, but my career and life were ruined because of a drug test,” the player said. “It doesn’t make sense. They have to take a more humane approach to this.”

But today, with state after state legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana on one level or another, Williams also insisted the NFL has lagged behind the nation in the acceptance of pot use.

“For the most part, the NFL is a closed system; they don’t have to keep up with the times. Because they are a business that depends on viewership, only when the viewers speak, the NFL will follow,” he said.

Indeed, as the IBT notes, public sentiment on pot use has risen past the 50 percent mark way up from the 1980s when only 20 percent of American supported it. Meanwhile, condemnation of pot has fallen to below 50 percent.

Williams’ business partner, Jim McAlpine, is the founder of 420 Games. He claims the sports events his group sponsors are meant to advocate for “responsible use of cannabis & to destigmatize the many people who use it in a positive manner.”

The gym co-founder called partnering with the former Longhorn “f**king awesome.”

McAlpine told The Complex that Williams “exemplifies a successful and very athletic person who also uses cannabis. Ricky is as smart as he is a talented athlete. And that is a big statement.”

The new gym entrepreneur also insisted that he used to feel ashamed of his drug use but now he wears his lifestyle “as a badge of honor.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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