The recently retired NFL player Chris Long spoke out about using cannabis during his entire career in pro football. Long opened up about cannabis use in the NFL in a recent interview with Dan Patrick, reports Yahoo Sports. Long, the 2018 Walter Peyton NFL Man of the Year, told Patrick that cannabis use for pain and stress management “shouldn’t even be an issue” to NFL league officials and team owners.

Long described how grueling playing in the NFL can be, and how it can wreak havoc on a player’s body. Long said he used cannabis to manage the stress of being a number two overall draft pick.

“Listen, if not for that, I’m not as capable of coping with the stresses of day-to-day NFL life,” Long said.

Long had an 11-year career with the Rams, Patriots and Eagles. He said that Toradol was more effective for his pain management, but acknowledged how many NFL players prefer cannabis to pills for their physical pains.

“A lot of guys get a lot of pain management out of it. Toradol did more pain management for me,” Long said.

After the interview, Long expressed his frustrations on Twitter that his admission of using cannabis was being talked about all over sports media. “I wish this wasn’t a shocking enough admission to go viral,” he said.

KYW 1060AM out of Philadelphia used the charming and clever phrase “Long likes to hit the bong.” To be fair, May is a bit of a slow month for news regarding the NFL. But the fact that some fans, members of the media and NFL executives are shocked by Long’s admission of cannabis use during his career shows that there’s still some work to do when it comes to removing an age-old stigma attached to the plant. Thankfully, the league and the NFL players’ union are at least taking some positive steps by arranging a study on cannabis for pain management.

Long echoed a sentiment shared by many former NFL players: That it’s time for the league to ease up on its restrictions on cannabis.

Long was an integral part of two Super Bowl winning teams in back-to-back years, one with the Patriots in 2017 and the other with Eagles in 2018. The NFL named him the 2018 Walter Payton Man of the Year because he donated each of his weekly game checks to a different charity. The Man of the Year award goes to players who show excellence in their off-the-field activities, volunteer and charity work.