On Friday, the Cleveland Indians’ All-Star closer, Chris Perez, was arrested and charged along with his wife for misdemeanor drug possession. Cops were tipped off by United States Postal Service employees that “suspicious” packages were being mailed to Brody, the couple’s dog, so they set up a little sting operation to catch them red-eyed and red-handed.
Of course, Chris Perez is hardly the first athlete known to have a fondness for Mary Jane, and he’s definitely not the first to get busted by the cops. So today we’ll run down some of the most notable cases of athletes getting nabbed for toking (or, in most cases, just possessing) marijuana. They aren’t necessarily the biggest pot-heads in sports, but they are perhaps the least careful potheads in sports.
So enjoy. But remember, kids: don’t do drugs or else you could wind up…a millionaire? No, that’s not right. Nevermind. Just read the list.
We kick off our list with an athlete who wasn't arrested for weed, but who was nevertheless "busted"...by TMZ.
Back in 2009, when Stephon was still an NBA player and not a member of the Beijing Ducks like he is now, the gossip website snagged and posted a video of the former All-Star puffing the magic dragon. So what was his excuse? Well, he was pretty unapologetic, actually. "I smoke marijuana. Yep, you saw me. I'm not under contract, I smoke weed occasionally. I'm not driving. I'm following the rules."
Apparently no one ever told Stephon about the rule that says you can't smoke pot because it's illegal. Otherwise it was a refreshingly candid statement.
13. Stephon Marbury (Beijing Ducks)
These days Darron Thomas is toiling in the CFL, while Cliff Harris is an NFL free agent. However, in August of 2011, when they were still teammates on the Oregon Ducks football team, they were pulled over by the cops for going 118 MPH in a non-118 MPH zone.
When the cops walked up to the car they smelled marijuana, so they asked if the two had any. Harris was quick on his feet, though. He said they did NOT have any pot on them...because they "just smoked it all."
Good thinking, man.
12. Darron Thomas & Cliff Harris (Oregon Ducks)
Back in April of 2012, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley was arrested in Alabama for marijuana possession. Then, just one month later, he was arrested again for driving under the influence, attempting to elude police, and having an open container.
So, yeah, this guy sounds like he has what they call "off-field character issues."
11. Nick Fairley (Detroit Lions)
Nate Newton was a six-time Pro Bowler and a three-time Super Bowl Champion while playing guard for the Dallas Cowboys from the mid-80s to the mid-90s. However, apparently he did not earn enough money to retire comfortably while playing football, because just two years after his last NFL game the guy was arrested in Louisiana for having 213 pounds of pot in his car. Then, just five weeks later he was arrested in Texas with another 175 pounds of pot.
He went to jail for 30 months.
10. Nate Newton (Dallas Cowboys—Retired)
While a member of the Houston Astros back in 2011, current Braves outfielder Jordan Schafer got caught smoking a joint by a police officer when said officer pulled up next to Schafer at a traffic light. And since driving and smoking pot is a big no-no, the dude got charged with felony possession rather than the more common misdemeanor possession.
However, at least he didn't resist arrest. In fact, when asked if he had any more pot on him, he voluntarily turned over his marijuana peanut butter cups.
Sounds like this guy was having himself a party, doesn't it?
9. Jordan Schafer (Atlanta Braves)
Thanks to a clever team of publicists and agents, today Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is known more for his addiction to Skittles than his addiction to illegal narcotics. But back in 2009, when he was still playing for the Buffalo Bills, Lynch was arrested in California for possessing a concealed weapon. Then, when the cops searched his car, they found four big blunts.
The offense earned him a three-game suspension from the NFL and three years of probation and community service from the California department of justice.
8. Marshawn Lynch (Seattle Seahawks)
Hey Allen, why are your eyes so red and watery?
Okay fine. Here he is just crying at his retirement press conference. But back in 1997, when Iverson was just an up-and-coming NBA star, he and some buddies were pulled over for speeding, then arrested for carrying a concealed weapons and possessing marijuana.
Of course, pot-smoking is the least of Iverson's problems today. Word on the street is that the former NBA superstar is broke and addicted to gambling.
7. Allen Iverson (Philadelphia 76ers—Retired)
Kenny Britt has been nothing but trouble since joining the Tennessee Titans in 2009. In April 2011, he was arrested after evading police and charged with resisting arrest, obstructing justice, and marijuana possession—charges he would basically escape.
Unfortunately, rather than realizing he was really lucky, Britt apparently came to the conclusion that he was invincible. Just one day after getting out of jail time for the April 2011 offenses, he was arrested again in New Jersey.
To date, Britt has had nine run-ins with the police since joining the NFL.
6. Kenny Britt (Tennessee Titans)
You know a guy who looks like Rasheed and lives in Portland is going to enjoy the ganja from time to time. Unfortunately, one of those times was while riding in a speeding car with Damon Stoudamire back in 2002. After being pulled over, the officer smelled pot and "initiated an investigation"—which means he asked them if they had any pot. They answered yes, got a citation, and went on their (slightly less) merry way.
Carmelo Anthony got caught with weed at the airport while trying to board a team charter in just his second year with the Denver Nuggets back in 2004. His excuse? A variation on the oldest one in the book. He didn't say he was "just holding it for a friend," but he did say that a friend had borrowed his backback and must have left it in there. You know, because friends are always borrowing each others backpacks.
In any case, Carmelo was later able to "convince" (pay?) one of his friends to come forward and take the rap. But obviously, I'm not buying it.
4. Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
Even if San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincedum hadn't been given a misdemeanor possession citation after a routine traffic stop in 2009, you probably still would have suspected he likes to smoke up. I mean, just look at the guy. I'm pretty sure he's stoned in this picture. And that new haircut? It's not fooling anybody. The only way people will believe he's quit his pot-smoking ways would be for him to suddenly stop sucking at pitching and win the Cy Young again.
3. Tim Lincecum (San Francisco Giants)
Phelps was never busted by the cops for weed. He was just busted by the internet.
You know the story, right? Back in 2009, the greatest Olympic swimmer of all-time and, arguably, the greatest Olympian period, was photographed using a bong at a University of South Carolina house party.
Phelps admitted his mistake, got suspended for three months, and then went on to win another four gold medals in the pool at London 2012.
2. Michael Phelps (Greatest Olympian of All-Time)
Oh Ricky. How many times did this guy test positive for marijuana? Four? Five? I seriously can't even count.
In any case, Ricky told 60 Minutes that he smoked pot as a kind of psychotherapy because it was way better for him than Paxil, which he took for anxiety. Was that a plausible explanation? You bet. Why else would a guy squander to much talent (and millions of dollars) just to smoke a drug that people swear is not even habit-forming?
Of course, the NFL didn't really care about any of that. They don't mind dudes pumping themselves full of steroids and HGH, but they'll be damned if somebody smokes weed.
1. Ricky Williams (Miami Dolphins—Retired)
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