'I'll Kaepernick myself': Cowboys' Irving quits NFL after substance-abuse ban

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle David Irving says he is quitting the NFL after being given an indefinite suspension over the league’s substance abuse policy.

“Basically, guys, I quit,” Irving said in an Instagram Live post on Thursday. “I don’t want to talk about a suspension and all this other nonsense. I’m outta there. I’m not doing this shit no more.”

The suspension came after Irving’s third violation of the substance abuse policy in three years. Irving appeared to be smoking marijuana during his Instagram post.

“It’s funny, you know, some people: ‘Oh, you’re addicted to weed, you’re addicted to this and that,’” he said. “I mean shit, if I’m gonna be addicted to something, I’d rather be addicted to marijuana, which is medical – it’s a medicine; I do not consider it a drug – rather than Xanax bars or the hydros or the seroquel and all that crazy shit that they feed you.

“Like I said, it’s not about smoking weed. How many NBA players you see getting in trouble about this? How many coaches you see getting in trouble about this? How many baseball players? How many UFC players getting in trouble?”

According to ESPN, marijuana is legal for medical or recreational purposes in 78% of cities that host NFL teams, and there are reports that the league is willing to make concessions on the substance in the future. “I don’t think I’m a bad guy for choosing this route. I stand up for what I believe in,” Irving said. “It is bullshit. I’ll ‘Kaepernick’ myself before they ‘Kaepernick’ my ass.”

Irving had a breakout season in 2017, recording seven sacks in eight games despite serving a substance abuse suspension. He will be a free agent in the coming season and the Cowboys have indicated they are not interested in re-signing the 25-year-old.

“Everyone questions my commitment to football, but let’s get it straight, here and now. I love football … I wouldn’t be here without it,” said Irving. “Don’t get me wrong, I love football. However, I don’t love the NFL. The NFL is not football, you need to understand that. What you all see us do, the game and shit, that’s, what, 20% of all the real shit we’re doing.”


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