Laremy Tunsil offers notorious gas-mask bong video as an NFT
Six years ago, the first round of the draft was turned upside down by the calculated release of a video of tackle Laremy Tunsil smoking marijuana with a bong and a gas mask. The video created chaos and triggered a slide by Tunsil to No. 13, well below where he was expected to go.
Now, Tunsil is turning that negative into a positive. He has announced that he’ll be selling the NFT of the gas-mask video, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Late Prisoner Project, which supports persons incarcerated for cannabis offenses.
Someone hacked Tunsil’s social media accounts and posted the video just before the draft began. Tunsil became the third tackle taken that year, behind Ronnie Stanley to the Ravens at No. 6 and Jack Conklin to the Titans at No. 8. The leak of the video reportedly kept the Ravens from taking Tunsil at No. 6.
He spoke at length about the situation last November. “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 told Complex.com.
It all worked out. He became a great player. He has received a major second contract with the Texans, after being traded to Houston by the Dolphins to the Texans in 2019.
Still, he went through a lot as the video fueled a free fall.
“When is this shit going to be over with?” he thought at the time, via Complex.com. “I wish you would’ve seen under my suit I was sweating so bad. I really kept my poise, but inside I was really fucked up. I just wanted to get to a space with my family and friends and just unwind because that was a lot that night. That was a lot.”
As explained by ESPN.com in 2021, Tunsil wouldn’t have fallen as far if something like that happened now. Laws, attitudes, and most importantly NFL rules regarding marijuana have changed dramatically since 2016.
Whether anyone will pay significant money (or any money) for the original digital video of the gas-mask moment remains to be seen. Regardless, it’s definitely a unique piece of draft lore.