NFL's Laremy Tunsil Turns Notorious Gas Mask Bong Video Into NFT

Author: Derek Saul

This article originally ran at Forbes.com

 

NFL star Laremy Tunsil took an infamous viral video of him smoking marijuana released during the 2016 NFL Draft that likely cost him millions and has made it into a nonfungible token that will go to auction, Tunsil announced in a tweet Wednesday morning, and a portion of proceeds from the NFT sale will go to an organization fighting for cannabis criminalization reform.

 

Key Facts

 

The NFT commemorates a video of Tunsil smoking from a bong while wearing a gas mask while seated under a Confederate flag, a video posted on his Twitter account on the night of the 2016 NFL Draft that Tunsil said was released by a hacker.

The video caused Tunsil’s draft stock to slide considerably, and Tunsil was drafted 13th by the Miami Dolphins after initially being projected to be one of the top picks.

 

 

The incident is one of the most notorious moments in NFL Draft history, and the NFT’s auction page describes the token as a “unique piece of draft memorabilia.”

 

 

Part of the proceeds from the auction will go to the Last Prisoner Project, an organization supporting marijuana criminal justice reform efforts, Tunsil said.

 

Key Background

 

Widely projected to be the top tackle in the 2016 draft class leading up to the draft, Tunsil was the third offensive tackle selected in the draft in a fall largely attributed to the bong video. Tunsil quickly established himself as one of the league’s top young offensive tackles before the Dolphins traded him to the Houston Texans in 2016 for two first-round picks. Tunsil earned Pro Bowl selections in the 2019 and 2020 seasons and signed a three-year, $66 million contract extension in 2020 that made him one of the NFL’s top-paid players.

 

Big Number

 

More than $7 million. That’s how much in guaranteed signing bonus money Tunsil lost out on by falling from the sixth pick, where the first tackle was selected in the 2016 draft, to the 13th pick.

 

Crucial Quote

 

“To this day, I still play with the anger, because I have to prove myself, because I feel like I’m not getting the accolades I deserve because of the gas mask,” Tunsil said in a 2021 interview with Complex, his first public comments on the video.

 

What To Watch For

 

The 2022 NFL Draft begins Thursday, and Tunsil’s NFT announcement was likely intended to coincide with the draft.

 

Further Reading

 

Laremy Tunsil Is Over the Gas Mask Incident. Why Isn’t Everybody Else? (Forbes)

Five years later, Laremy Tunsil’s gas mask and his Dolphins’ draft impact (ESPN

 

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