Pubdate: Mon, 26 Apr 2010
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2010 The StarPhoenix
Page: B1
Author: Murray McCormick


Linebacker Quoted In Paper About Marijuana Use By Teammates

Comments attributed to Tad Kornegay about reported marijuana use by 
his Saskatchewan Roughriders teammates were "mixed up" by one of 
North America's pre-eminent newspapers, according to the veteran CFLer.

Kornegay was quoted in a Wall Street Journal story about marijuana 
use by NFL prospects. The article, for which Kornegay was among 
several players interviewed by reporter Aditi Kinkhabwal, reads in 
part that "a linebacker with the Saskatchewan Roughriders says that 
at least half of his teammates are open about smoking pot."

Kornegay is then quoted directly, saying: "They say they do it for 
stress, and because they feel like they don't hurt as bad. . . . 
Nobody comes to practice high."

Kornegay clarified those statements when reached Sunday at his 
off-season home in New Jersey.

"I wasn't talking about the Saskatchewan Roughriders but she didn't 
make it up," Kornegay said, who has spent five seasons in the CFL 
with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Roughriders.

"Someone got mixed up a little bit and that's maybe why she didn't 
quote me. She was right when she quoted me about stress."

Kornegay said they were speaking generally about athletes.

"I was talking about everyone -- from guys in the NBA to the NFL to 
sports in general to people who hold 9-to-5 jobs and in the corporate 
world," Kornegay said. "I wasn't talking about a particular team or 
teammates. I was talking in a general sense."

When reached Sunday, a representative of the Wall Street Journal 
declined to comment. The representative added that the Journal stands 
by the story.

Kornegay, who recently re-signed with the Riders, knew those two 
paragraphs were going to create a firestorm.

"I said those quotes but the way they were put together . . . I knew 
people would think I was crazy talking about my team that way," said Kornegay."

Ken Miller, the Riders' head coach and vice-president of football 
operations, talked with Kornegay on Sunday. Miller understood that 
the linebacker's comments were taken out of context and were also 
open to interpretation.

"The comment about half of his teammates smoking pot was not quoted," 
said Miller. "When he does talk about players, he's not talking about 
CFL players necessarily. There are NFL players who smoke pot for 
stress. There are comments that can be taken in a lot of different 
ways about different leagues and multiple people. It's put together 
in a way to be more sensational. I feel good about what he told me."

There isn't any drug testing in the CFL, which led the reporter to 
broach that aspect of her story. The NFL does conduct drug tests and 
marijuana is among its banned substances. Part of the story dealt 
with medicinal marijuana and players smoking pot to ease some of 
their chronic pain. Kornegay said he doesn't know if there are pot 
smokers on the Riders.

"I don't smoke, so I wouldn't know," said Kornegay.

Miller added that marijuana use is not a problem with the Roughriders.

"Absolutely not," Miller said. "I'm not going to say for a fact the 
nobody smokes marijuana because that would be silly. We've had some 
peripheral people who have and who are no longer with us. That's 
something that we are interested in and concerned about. It's not 
something we would turn our head about and not look at."
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