Travis Kelce: up to 80% of the NFL smokes weed

travis kelce

As the normalization of cannabis continues to spread, more professional sports leagues are softening their stance on the plant.  According to Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, a majority of NFL players are taking advantage of the league’s relaxed rules regarding weed.

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Kelce estimated that anywhere from 50 to  80 percent of football pros consume cannabis. The two-time Super Bowl champ said that since the NFL now only drug tests at the start of summer training camp, the pressure to quit during the regular season is virtually eliminated.

“If you just stop in the middle of July, you’re fine,” Kelce reportedly said. “A lot of guys stop a week before and they still pass because everybody’s working out in the heat and sweating their tail off. Nobody’s really getting hit for it anymore.”

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Kelce wasn’t always so open about his affinity for cannabis. The former University of Cincinnati quarterback was handed a one-year suspension by the NCAA in 2009 after a hard night of partying before the Sugar Bowl came back to haunt him.

“I was down in New Orleans, listening to Lil Wayne, and I wanted to smoke what he was smoking,” Kelce revealed in the interview, finding himself subject to a random drug screen a few days later right before he was scheduled to play in one of the biggest games of his collegiate career.

Despite his brush with prohibition as a young man, cannabis consumption didn’t stop Kelce’s path to stardom. After his suspension, he returned to his college team as a tight end and was drafted by Kansas City in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft.

Several other pro-pot NFL players have suggested the use of marijuana is widespread in the league. Ricky Williams, a former pro running back who now owns his own cannabis brand, mirrored Kelce’s claims that 80 percent of players smoke.

As federal marijuana legalization creeps closer and stigmas erode, it’s likely that even more professional athletes will begin to come clean about their relationships with the plant. For elite players like Kelce, the term “Super Bowl champion” likely has a double meaning.


rachelle gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist, Emerald Cup judge, Budist critic, and editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter