This morning I joined Eric Lopez on Sports Talk 1040 (Tampa) and 1080 (Orlando) to talk about the latest in the Josh Freeman vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers saga, which had taken a very ugly turn.
Monday evening, a report surfaced on ESPN stating Freeman was enrolled in stage one of the NFL substance abuse program, which is supposed to be kept confidential.
The report mentioned that Freeman had received a therapeutic use exemption for an otherwise banned substance.
In a statement issued by his agent later that night, Freeman confirmed he has ADHD and the therapeutic use exemption is for Adderall, a prescription drug used to treat adults and children with the disorder.
Freeman admitted he once mistakenly took Ritalin, another prescription drug used to treat ADHD, instead of Adderall, which is why he voluntarily entered the NFL substance abuse program for regular testing.
Going beyond the statement, and gleaning from information obtained through discussions with several sources close to Freeman, I can say this….
Freeman has had ADHD his entire playing career but chose to keep his diagnosis private as he did not want to be stigmatized for it.
After all, his position is predicated on quick decision-making and the ability to concentrate amid chaos and he did not wish to be labeled.
Instead he was forced to admit his status, which does fall under the Americans With Disabilities Act, preventing those with disabilities from being discriminated against in the workforce.
Freeman does believe the breach of confidentiality came within the Buccaneers organization, further illustrating why the Bucs and Freeman need to sever ties immediately.
Another wrinkle in the Freeman-Buccaneers saga was how his benching was handled, not just in terms of keeping him off the field Sunday, but the team mandating where he sat.
Freeman was not only told he could not be on the field Sunday and was also told he could not sit and watch the game with his family in the suite he paid for himself.
A source close to Freeman stated that team officials actually came to the Freeman suite and told him he had to leave. Freeman obliged and was escorted to another suite to be with other inactive team members.
The source recalled, “It was as if he was being put into time out and punished, like a child.”
You can listen to the audio here: