A THC-infused edible is allegedly the reason Miami Heat player Dion Waiters was handed a 10-game suspension this weekend that will cost him more than a million dollars, ESPN reported.
On Friday, Fox Sports radio host Andy Slater announced that a Heat player experienced a “medical emergency” during a team flight out of Phoenix.
“A Miami Heat player had a medical emergency on their flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles on Thursday night, according to sources,” Slater said.
“Dion Waiters is the Heat player who had medical emergency on team plane, I’ve confirmed,” he added in a follow-up tweet. “Waiters overdosed on ‘gummies,’ sources say, and was passed out when plane landed.”
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Adrian Wojnarowski later reported that Waiters, 27, experienced a “panic attack” after allegedly eating a THC-infused edible while en route to Los Angeles on the plane.
Sources told the outlet that Waiters missed Thursday’s game against the Phoenix Suns due to a stomach ache and had taken an edible to ease his symptoms. THC, the chemical that causes someone to experience a high, is banned by the NBA.
Waiters was also listed as out for the Heat’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
In a statement on Sunday, the franchise did not confirm the reports, but instead alluded to a “scary situation” Thursday that involved Waiters. The team suspended him 10 games without pay.
“We are very disappointed in Dion’s actions this season that include the very scary situation on Thursday night, and grateful that the outcome wasn’t worse,” the team said, according to NBA reporter David Aldridge. “There have been a number of instances this season in which Dion has engaged in conduct detrimental to the team. Accordingly, he will be suspended without pay for 10 games.”
The Heat said Waiters won’t be eligible to return until after they play the Golden State Warriors on November 29th. The team lost to the Lakers on Friday, 80-95.
“We are proud of how our players have started the season,” the statement continued. “We expect all of our players, including Dion, to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards, and to show professionalism and respect for their teammates, the team, the fans and the NBA community.”
According to Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel, Waiters will now lose out on a $1.2 million contract bonus that he would have received had he appeared in at least 70 games this season.
The NBA’s marijuana/THC prohibition has been criticized as more states make the substances legal for public consumption.
The subject was recently discussed with former NBA commissioner David Stern, who revealed he has had a change of heart about the ban.
“I think it’s time to take a whole new look at it,” he told CNBC. “In many cases in sports, the opioid crisis begins with players being prescribed pills for their pain, and if there is another substance, whether it be CBD or THC that eases pain, then I’m all for it.”