The NFL is reportedly unlikely to reprimand Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers despite his admitted use of ayahuasca, a psychoactive tea that includes DMT, a hallucinogenic drug that is illegal in the United States and banned by the NFL.
Peter King of NBC Sports reached out to the league office, which refused to provide a comment. King then reached out to sources who said the NFL "very likely" will not punish Rodgers because he never tested positive for a banned substance.
The NFL does conduct random drug tests during the offseason, but DMT is nearly impossible to detect in blood and urine tests.
Rodgers recently revealed he drank ayahuasca during the 2020 offseason and then again this offseason. He credited his first journey with helping give him the mindset that led to his back-to-back MVP wins the past two seasons.
Speaking to King about his experience, Rodgers said the ayahuasca helped him find "self-love" and made him a better person and teammate.
“Man, it’s hard to answer that question with a short answer. But a lot of different ways. The most important way was really that self-love part," Rodgers said. "I think it’s unlocked a lot of my heart. Being able to fully give my heart to my teammates, my loved ones, relationships because I can fully embrace unconditionally myself.
"Just didn’t do that for a long time. I was very self-critical. When you have so much judgment on yourself it’s easy to transfer that judgment to other people. When you figure out a better way to love yourself, I think you can love people better because you’re not casting the same judgment you cast on yourself on other people. I’m really thankful for that.”
Rodgers also said the psychoactive helped him find a "deeper" love of football and "allowed me to look at each day with a little more joy.”
The NFL's decision to not punish Rodgers is interesting given his public admission to using a banned substance. It's fair to wonder if the league would have had the same reaction if a player admitted to using a performance-enhancing substance or a different drug without a positive test.
As it stands, the league is seemingly setting a precedent that players cannot be punished for taking drugs without a positive test.