Richard Sherman Says NFL Should Lift Ban on Adderall Due to Widespread Use

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2013

Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman believes the NFL should lift its ban on Adderall because it's used by a large group of players for prescription use, reports Mike Beamish of The Vancouver Sun.

UPDATE: Thursday, Apr. 11, at 3:59 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

Richard Sherman took to Twitter this afternoon to voice his displeasure of being misquoted, stating:

Falsely accused, misquoted almost every interview lol still waiting on my apologies. But I guess ignorance doesn't apologize 👍👌😉

— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) April 11, 2013

---End of update---

UPDATE: Thursday, Apr. 11, at 2:09 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

In order to provide clarity surrounding Richard Sherman's Adderall comments, Vancouver Sun reporter Mike Beamish provided NFL.com's Kevin Patra with the transcript of his interview.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said Thursday morning on "NFL AM" that he did not mean that 'half the league' was taking Adderall, as he was quoted by the Vancouver Sun...

...While Sherman uttered the phrase 'half the league takes it' he was referring directly to the reporter's statement about players who have prescriptions for Adderall to treat their attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, not taking it illegally as the original story suggested.


Beamish: 'There are players who actually have to take Adderall, because people have ADD and ADHD.' 
Sherman: 'There's about half the league that takes it, and the league has to allow it.' 
Beamish: 'It's like you have a prescription, if you're a diabetic.' 
Sherman: 'Exactly.' 
Beamish: 'So, are you on any medication that way?' 
Sherman: 'I'm not. But there are players that took it. We all got tested on the same day. There was kind of a little mix-up with that.'

Beamish said in an email to NFL.com that it was clear Sherman was saying 'half the league' in the same vein people say 'everybody cheats on their taxes.' 

---End of update---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Apr. 10 12:05 p.m. ET by Sam Westmoreland

The NFL has responded to Sherman's statements about the league's ban on Adderall, according to a report from TMZ. 

Per the NFL spokesman's statements: 

"The comments are ill-informed and inaccurate.  Adderall is easily detected under current testing and will result in a suspension absent an approved therapeutic use exemption."

The rep continues, "If his statement were true, we would be seeing many more positive tests and suspensions."

"More importantly, his comments are irresponsible, as they ignore the serious medical risks and documented public health crisis associated with the improper use of Adderall and similar drugs.”

---End Update---

Said Sherman:

About half the league takes it (Adderall) and the league has to allow it. The league made a mistake in my case. Obviously, I didn't do anything, but you have to go through a process to prove you didn't do anything. There are still naysayers out there who don’t believe me. But I accept it. If everybody loves you, it probably means you’re not much of a player.

Adderall is a prescription stimulant, commonly used for the treatment of attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, Beamish states. Use of it by NFL players would currently result in a suspension, but Sherman thinks the widespread use should change the league's outlook.

Sherman made the comments after meeting with the kids at Cambridge Elementary School as a part of NFL Canada's Take An NFL Player to School Program, according to the report. He discussed everything from his favorite place to play to his experiences growing up.

It will be his thoughts on the subject of Adderall that will draw the most attention, though. The talented cornerback was nearly suspended for four games last season after traces of the stimulant were found in his urine, as reported by Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News.

Sherman appealed the punishment and won his case, allowing him to keep playing.

As it stands now, the only way players can use Adderall without being subject to suspension for use of a banned substance is through the therapeutic-use exemption, according to David Leon Moore and Jim Corbett of USA Today.

While it's unknown how accurate Sherman's 50 percent estimate on use of the stimulant is for prescription uses, he clearly believes that it's used enough throughout the league for the NFL to reconsider its stance on the issue.