Ricky Williams to Run Marijuana-Friendly Gym Power Plant Fitness in California

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2016

Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams (34) runs in the second quarter during an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Miami, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Han Deryk)
Hans Deryk/Associated Press

Former NFL running back Ricky Williams is set to assume a key role in Power Plant Fitness, a marijuana-friendly gym expected to open this fall in San Francisco.

Greg Rajan of My San Antonio noted Friday that Williams is a partner in the operation and will serve as the company's spokesperson. 420 Games executive Jim McAlpine co-founded the business and told Trace William Cowen of Complex (warning: NFSW language) he's excited to have the former football star on board.

"Having [Williams] as a partner is f--king awesome because he exemplifies a successful and very athletic person who also uses cannabis," McAlpine said. "Ricky is as smart as he is a talented athlete. And that is a big statement."

He added: "The mission of my first venture [was] to show the world that cannabis is not bad and it does not make people lazy nor stupid. And that it can be a healthy and productive part of an athlete's life and training regimen."

Williams starred at Texas before getting selected with the fifth overall pick in the 1999 draft by the New Orleans Saints. He went on to rush for more than 10,000 yards across 11 years in the NFL, but his career was delayed several times due to marijuana use.

He retired ahead of the 2004 season after learning he was getting a four-game suspension. He returned in 2005 and played 12 games, but another failed test banned him for the entire 2006 campaign.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported in 2007 that the running back violated the league's drug policy a total of four times—three times for marijuana and once for another substance. He also had his reinstatement efforts delayed by another failed pot test.

In February, he explained at the High Times SoCal Medical Cannabis Cup he felt using the substance was a way of helping himself because teams "weren't trying to take care of me," per Sean Wagner-McGough of CBS Sports.

"So, I had to take care of myself," Williams said. "One of the ways I took care of myself was using cannabis. I'd go see the doctor, he'd wiggle my knee around and say here and give me some anti-inflammatories, some pain pills, and say, 'Just try to rest.' That's it. I think there's a better way."

His stance makes him a perfect fit for the new gym, which will still focus on physical training despite the presence of cannabis, according to the Complex report. It's also noted the gym must still receive local clearance before the use of marijuana will be allowed.