What should’ve been one of the most gratifying nights of Laremy Tunsil’s life turned into a nightmare when a video of the athlete smoking weed out of a gas mask bong was leaked onto the star offensive lineman’s hacked Twitter account.
Now six years removed from the scandal, Tunsil — still an NFL mainstay — has turned that moment into an NFT, and intends to donate a portion of the proceeds towards The Last Prisoner Project, a non-profit organization advocating for cannabis criminal justice reform.
The video itself was minted on Foundation, and was listed at a starting bid of 1.00 ETH.
While the societal stigma of marijuana consumption has certainly shifted since the 2016 NFL draft — New York, New Jersey, and Illinois are among three states to legalize recreational use in recent years — there are over 40,000 people in prison facing criminal charges over the substance. The Last Prisoner Project offers pro bono legal services and reentry resources to advocate for people facing marijuana related charges.
Some Context— After being projected to be picked within the first six selections, Tunsil’s stock plummeted swiftly, resulting in a free fall to the 13th pick where he was chosen by the Miami Dolphins.
Because of the gas mask scandal, Tunsil lost out on an estimated $7 to $13 million. Since the night of the leak, the two-time Pro Bowler, has been understandably averse to rehashing what he described to Complex as, “The worst feelings I ever experienced in my life.”
Fast forward to 2022 and Tunsil, now a member of the Houston Texans, is in the conversation as being one of the best players in the league at his position. While it’s more than justified to assess NFT projects with a heavy degree of skepticism, it’s refreshing to see someone turn a less than ideal situation into a means to help others.
Long live the gas mask bong.