Aldon Smith is living outside the spotlight these days while serving a calendar-year suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
The Raiders edge rusher and former 49ers first-round draft pick hasn’t spoken publicly in some time but has been active on Periscope, a social media service that broadcasts live video to a person’s followers. The segments are made public, and can be viewed by anyone with a Periscope account.
Some older videos are archived, and Smith has used an account titled “ravenga,” to post video segments under the name “Ricky.”
The account, as of Sunday morning, has 29 followers. Smith is clearly shown on camera in most videos, where he generally talks about current events or what he’s doing at the moment.
Given his current suspension, past DUI convictions and pending misdemeanor charges of DUI with a prior conviction, hit and run and vandalism levied by the Santa Clara County District Attorney, one video puts him a questionable light.
Among the 31 video segments archived and publicly available is an installment entitled “Fire up session,” where Smith never appears on camera but his voice, unmistakable when compared to other videos where he talks directly to the camera, has a conversation with an unidentified female about a hand-rolled cigarette shown on screen.
The video is posted above. Here is a transcript of the exchange:
Female: (Expletive deleted), I’m not (messing) with you.
Male: I don’t give a (care). Ain’t nobody (messing) with us. We’ve got zero followers. Where is the ashtray at?( to audience) This is what you call a fire up session.
Female: (Expletive deleted), you shouldn’t even be posting that.
Male: (coughing) (Expletive deleted), do you see my face?
Female: No, but what if…
Male: They don’t have my name. This is just a fire up session.
Female: So, if you just put it on there...it’s just doing it? It’s live? That’s hella stupid.
Male: Shut up. You hella stupid. You trying to smoke, fam? Is this the ashtray?
Female: Yeah. You ain’t using it no more, right?
Male: I’m using it.
Female: Oh, that’s a (expletive deleted) (inaudible)? Oh, a (inaudible)?
Male: You’re stupid. You’re tripping. (Expletive deleted), they don’t know it’s me. It’s not like I put “Aldon Smith”…
The video cuts off at that point. That Periscope segment was posted 16 days ago and is in a series of posts, 31 of which are currently archived by the social media service.
Smith has recently engaged in light dialogue with fans messaging him during frequent live sessions.
Smith signed a two-year, $11.5 million contract with the Raiders that includes no guaranteed money. He cannot participate in team activities or have contact with Raiders personnel outside of the team’s director of player engagement.
Smith’s suspension under the NFL substance abuse policy falls under Stage Three banishment, meaning he can apply for reinstatement 60 days before his suspension ends in November. The NFL must approve his reinstatement, which will only occur if he follows stipulations required by the league’s substance abuse policy.
Per the league’s substance abuse policy, the application must include information about the player’s: “(a) Treatment; (b) Abstinence from Substances of Abuse throughout the entire period of his banishment; (c) Involvement with any Substances of Abuse related incidents; and (d) Arrests and/or convictions for any criminal activity, including Substances of Abuse-related offense.”
The NFL’s substance abuse policy can be viewed in its entirety here.
Smith signed with the Raiders just prior the 2015 regular season, roughly a month after being released by the 49ers following an Aug. 6 run-in with the law that prompted aforementioned misdemeanor charges by the Santa Clara County D.A.
Smith had 28 tackles and 3.5 sacks in nine games with the Raiders. He was viewed as a positive locker room presence during that time, and was well liked by the organization. Smith was drafted No. 7 overall by the 49ers in 2011, and has 47.5 sacks in five seasons. He is considered among the league’s premiere pass rushers, but his NFL tenure has been plagued by off-field incidents that have resulted in punitive action by the league.
Smith’s agent declined comment.