Free agent running back Le’Veon Bell admitted during a podcast that he smoked marijuana before NFL games.
Bell, 31, a nine-year veteran who spent his first five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and has not played in the NFL since 2021, spoke about his marijuana use on the “Steel Here” podcast, ESPN reported. The podcast focuses on the Steelers; Bell played in Pittsburgh from 2013 to 2017 and sat out the 2018 season because of a contract dispute.
“I feel like I got a misconception about me with the whole weed thing,” Bell said on the podcast, which aired on Friday. “I was wrong just ‘cause I shouldn’t have smoked in the car, regardless. But looking back at this, that’s what I did. When I was playing football, I smoked, bro. Even before the games I would smoke. I’d go out there and run for 150 (yards) and two (touchdowns).”
The car incident was a reference to a 2014 incident in which Bell was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and marijuana possession, Sports Illustrated reported. He was suspended for two games to open the 2015 season.
Bell, a three-time Pro Bowl selection and an All-Pro in 2017, was also suspended for three games before the 2016 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy after he missed multiple drug tests, according to the Los Angeles Times.
After the contract dispute in 2018, Bell played the 2019 season with the New York Jets.
The Jets released Bell five games into the 2020 season. He hooked up with the Kansas City Chiefs and rushed for 328 yards and two touchdowns, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com. He also made 16 catches for 138 receiving yards.
Bell split his 2021 season between the Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He has rushed for 6,554 yards and 42 touchdowns and caught 399 passes for 3,289 yards, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.
Bell has not closed the door on pro football, although he has been involved in three celebrity boxing matches, according to Bleacher Report.
He told the podcast he would like to retire with the Steelers but wants to get some work during the preseason, “so I can show y’all” he can still play, The Associated Press reported.