Ex-Seattle Seahawk Percy Harvin Talks Using Cannabis For Anxiety

By David Konow 10/08/19

Harvin said that marijuana was the only thing that helped him deal with pre-game anxiety. 

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Ex-Seattle Seahawk Percy Harvin

Percy Harvin, former wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks, opened up about having anxiety issues before games and how he became dependent on marijuana to deal with it.

Harvin says he took “multiple” prescriptions to try and combat his pre-game anxiety, but as he told Bleacher Report, “The only thing that really seemed to work is when I would smoke marijuana. There’s not a game that I played in that I wasn’t high.”

The Worst Years Of His Life

Harvin played 75 games during his time in the NFL, from 2009 to 2016. His anxiety heightened when he was traded to Seattle in 2013, which he called “probably the worst years of my life.”

Harvin’s anxiety wasn’t noticeable or problematic until he was in situations he wasn’t ready for. He was thrown off balance by his trade to the Seahawks, and having to do press conferences.

He described this period as the worst time of his life “just because it came with so much. My anxiety is at its worst when I go into an unfamiliar situation… I started noticing it when I started speaking or going into different environments. Particularly the press conference with the Seahawks. My shirt was sweatin’ and they had to bring me water a couple times during my press conference.”

Altercation With Golden Tate

Harvin’s anxiety also led to a physical altercation in the locker room with his teammate Golden Tate before the Super Bowl. “Thinking about it now, I can’t even believe it I did it,” Harvin says today.

Harvin eventually had seven prescriptions to deal with his anxiety, yet marijuana was the only thing that could calm him down.

Harvin explained to Bleacher Report that marijuana use does not make you a bad person.

"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," he explains. "It’s people that’s just living a regular life that just got deficiencies or just maybe wanna enjoy themselves. It’s a natural way to do so.”

Anxiety and mental health awareness has become a big issue in professional sports, and Harvin is one of many professional players who’ve had to deal with it. Over the summer the NFL had a mental health conference where they hoped to create resources for players that are suffering, and address their needs better in the future.

As Solomon Thomas of the San Francisco 49ers explained, “If our brain’s not working, our bodies aren’t going to work.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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