Former NFL wide receiver Percy Harvin was known for both big plays as a receiver and a kick returner, but he also made frequent headlines due to debilitating migraines. Following his retirement, Harvin has revealed that he also suffered from anxiety prior to each game and that he combated it with the use of marijuana.
"Now you're looking at a guy that – I was at the Mayo Clinic, and I had at least seven prescriptions that I was to take," Harvin said. "From Zoloft and all the other ones I was taking. And the only thing that really seemed to work is when I would smoke marijuana. There's not a game – there's not a game I played in that I wasn't high."
This discussion happened during episode three of Untold Stories, which is produced by Bleacher Report and features writer Master Tesfatsion interviewing retired players about moments from their careers.
Untold Stories Episode 3 with Percy Harvin
Percy Harvin shares how he smoked weed before every game to help with his anxiety disorder/migraines.
Plus, he opens up about fighting Golden Tate before Super Bowl 48.pic.twitter.com/8xnaY9qOCZ— Master (@MasterTes) October 2, 2019
As Harvin explained, the original purpose of smoking marijuana was to ease his anxiety prior to each game, but the experience has now made it to where he can provide more information. He wants to change the conversation surrounding the use of marijuana, which is something that has also been mentioned by retired wide receiver Calvin Johnson and defensive end Chris Long.
"And that's what I want the world to kinda see today is, it's not a stigma and, you know, people doing it and getting in a whole bunch of trouble. It's people that's just living regular life that just got deficiencies or maybe just wanna enjoy themselves. It's a natural way to do so."
Originally a first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings back in 2009, the former Florida Gator burst onto the scene with his game-changing plays. Harvin paired with quarterback Brett Favre for nearly 800 receiving yards and six touchdowns as a rookie and added in another two touchdowns on kick returns.
Despite being limited by migraines and anxiety in his career, Harvin still performed for the Vikings during his four seasons with the team, tallying 20 receiving touchdowns, four rushing, and five on returns. He was later traded to the Seattle Seahawks, the team with which he won a Super Bowl ring, before finishing his career with the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills.
Per Harvin's own admission, he was high during every single game of his eight-year career, including Super Bowl XLVIII, a game in which he returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown. Did this use affect his career? Harvin certainly believes that it helped calm him prior to big performances.