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NFL Says Aaron Rodgers’ Ayahuasca Trip Didn’t Violate Drug Policy

NFL claims that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not in violation of league rules for having previously consumed psychoactive drink ayahuasca.

Via ESPN, “NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Monday that it wouldn’t have triggered a positive test result on either the substance abuse or performance-enhancing substance policies collectively bargained by the NFL and its players’ association.”

Rodgers is currently in training camp for the 18th season of the league and has caused quite a stir with the revelation that he had consumed ayahuasca from Peru before the two previous seasons. In each of those seasons, Rodgers was named the league’s most valuable player, his third and fourth time winning the award respectively.

Rodgers said he doesn’t “think it’s a coincidence” that he claimed the top individual honor after those experiences in South America.

“I really don’t. I don’t really believe in coincidences at this point. It’s the universe bringing things to happen when they’re supposed to happen,” Rodgers said on an episode of the Aubrey Marcus Podcast last week.

Rodgers shared his experience on the podcast and said that it changed him for life.

“For me, I didn’t do that and think ‘oh, I’m never playing football again,’” Rodgers said, as quoted by USA Today. “No, it gave me a deep and meaningful appreciation for life. My intention the first night going in was ‘I want to feel what pure love feels like.’ That was my intention. It was true. It was true. I had a magical experience with the sensation of feeling a hundred different hands on my body imparting a blessing of love and forgiveness for myself and gratitude for this life from what seemed to be my ancestors.”

Rodgers has been with the Packers for his entire career. He spoke more about the topic in an interview that Peter King, a long-time journalist on football, published Monday. King explained how Rodgers’ experience in Peru was able to come together.

“I have a dear friend that I’ve known for 25 years that went on an ayahuasca journey in 2019. I met him again, and we went on a round of golf. He told me about his experience. I said, okay, I think it’s time that I do it. Then we created a Peru trip. [in 2020]It was a wonderful experience. Next, I was able to go again in offseason. It was a wonderful experience. It was very different. Different size group, different amount of days,” Rodgers told King.

“We sat three different nights with the medicine. With the intention to heal other relationships, and bring in some people for conversation, I went in. Most of the work was around myself and figuring out what unconditional love of myself looks like…,” Rodgers continued. “In doing that, allowing me to understand how to unconditionally love other people but first realizing it’s gotta start with myself. I’ve got to be a little more gentle with myself and compassionate and forgiving because I’ve had some negative voices, negative self-talk, for a long time. It took a lot of healing to get there. There’s things—images from the nights, the journeys—that will come up in dreams or during the day I’ll think about something that happened or something that I thought about. It’s constantly trying to integrate those lessons into everyday life.”

The NFL has been strict about recreational drug usage for years. They routinely suspend players who use cannabis.

In recent years, however, the league has eased its drug policy. During the 2021 offseason, with a new collective bargaining agreement taking effect, the NFL did not conduct random drug tests for marijuana, marking a sea change in the league’s rulebook.