CBD is slowly emerging on the professional soccer scene. Here are 3 soccer players who use and advocate for the use of CBD products!

By: Jacob La Cava

Soccer is easily one of the most prevalent sports in the world, commanding widespread popularity in most countries. Its gorgeous aesthetics, as well as the intense craftsmanship displayed by the sport’s top players, make it easy to understand why its appeal has such a far reach. Soccer players are some of the hardest-working athletes on the planet, and while jokes make them seem frail and prone to flopping in order to secure penalties, their durability is constantly being put to the test.


Can Soccer Players Use CBD?

Like many other professional sports organizations, those associated with soccer are faced with the question of whether to allow their athletes to use CBD. Until recently, the answer was simple: if the World Anti-Doping Agency says a product is banned, then you keep it banned. However, now that WADA has removed CBD from its list of banned substances, organizations such as FIFA, MLS and NWSL have been given the authority to implement CBD as they deem fit. 

As a result, some questions still exist regarding CBD use in soccer, though the compound is no longer expressly banned. With CBD companies slowly creeping into the league, mainly through sponsoring teams. Few players are out as frequent CBD users, although those that are have been loud about their endorsement of the compound and won’t shy away from discussing it. Here are three athletes within the sport of soccer who use or endorse CBD:


1. Megan Rapinoe

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Megan Rapinoe is one of the most recognizable women’s soccer players on the planet, both for her work on the pitch and in the world at large. She found success in the sport from a young age, participating in the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in 2004. At the University of Portland she continued to excel, leading the Pilots to an undefeated season and D1 title in her first year. Over the course of four years, she would receive multiple All-American honors, as well as Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year acknowledgements. Even while suffering ACL injuries in her sophomore and junior years, she still managed to accumulate 88 total points through 60 college games, including 30 goals and 28 assists. 

As a professional, she has competed on teams in the United States, Europe and Australia. While some of her residencies on these teams were extremely short, she still managed to have a noticeable impact wherever she competed. Currently, she plays for the Seattle Reign Football Club, whose abysmal record saw major improvements with the inclusion of both Rapinoe and Hope Solo. As a key member of the US Women’s National Team, she helped lead the team to gold in the 2012 London Olympics, as well as gold in the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Off the pitch, Rapinoe spends time advocating for the many organizations and political issues that she believes strongly in. One such issue that she has taken up is CBD, and she has partnered with her sister’s CBD company in order to spread knowledge around the compound. Rapinoe herself uses CBD, and is interested in helping others recognize the quality of life boosts that athletes can gain from using CBD products. As one of the first major soccer star CBD advocates, she is poised to lead the charge in her corner of the market.


2. Rachael Rapinoe

Rachael Rapinoe is the twin sister of Megan, and she also found early success in the sport. While she started out as a track and basketball player in high school, she soon picked up soccer and found that she thoroughly enjoyed it. She and Megan played together on the Elk Grove United club soccer team, which possessed the #1 ranking for their level at the time. She also played with her sister at the University of Portland and became a primary scorer for the team after making the move from defender to forward. Unfortunately, advanced soccer skills and knowledge weren’t the only things that Rachael shared with Megan. Injuries plagued her college career, namely a recurring injury to a knee ligament. These injuries would severely limit her ability to play professionally. 

Still, she would pursue a professional career. In 2010, she signed with Stjarnan Women, an Icelandic women’s club soccer team, with whom she made 5 appearances and scored two goals. In 2012, the knee ligament injuries would make their return and effectively end her career. However, even when not playing professionally, she and Megan still worked together to transfer their extensive knowledge of the sport to youth soccer teams.

Today, Rachael is the CEO of Mendi, a sports wellness company geared toward teaching athletes how to include CBD products in their daily routines. As a CBD user herself, she understands what the compound brings to the table, and her involvement in the world of CBD could be a major step in the right direction for soccer athletes trying to break into the market. Partnered with her sister, Rachael’s company will likely lead to increased advocacy for the use of CBD by athletes.

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3. Portland Thorns FC

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Okay, okay, I get it; this isn’t really a person, but rather a team that’s being represented here. However, this team’s interactions with CBD companies will likely have a major impact on the NWSL, National Women’s Soccer League, and other major soccer organizations. Portland Thorns FC is the first team in the NWSL to secure a partnership from a CBD company. While it might not seem overwhelmingly important that a single team found a CBD partner, it opens the door for other teams and companies to do the same. 

CBD for athletes is a major point of interest, and the market for it could be massive. More and more athletes are coming to the conclusion that they enjoy CBD and will continue using it throughout their professional careers and in their post-sports lives. Athlete advocacy is on the rise, and with entire sports teams partnering with CBD companies, exposure to CBD products is bound to produce greater knowledge surrounding the compound, which everyone would benefit from.

 

These are the players and organizations that both use and endorse CBD in the world of professional soccer. With time, more soccer players are likely to come out as advocates for CBD, and if that occurs, the cannabidiol industry will have the chance to introduce CBD to millions.