Top

What's Acceptable and What's Not?

The NFL world is indulged in the recent suspension of Josh Gordon.  Gordon tested positive for banned substances.  It is Gordon's second violation and results in an indefinite suspension as well as banishment from the league until further notice.  I'm all for the punishment, if you do something stupid (twice in this case) you should face the consequences.  My problem is with the terrible inconsistencies in punishments given (or not given) for violations and law breaking around the league.  

We all know taking illegal drugs such as smoking pot, cocaine, or any performance enhancing drug is strictly in violation of the NFL substance abuse policy.  But how about drinking and driving?  Why is that not cracked down on just as hard as a player who smokes a little weed?  Firstly, smoking weed is actually legal in a few states whereas drinking and driving is highly illegal anywhere you go.  Why is it that the NFL doesn't see a DWI as as big a deal as a failed drug test?  How many NFL players have died from smoking weed?  Now how many have died in a car wreck where the driver had an extremely high BAC?  Secondly, both doing drugs and drinking alcohol can be highly detrimental to one's health, but driving while intoxicated puts everyone else on the road at risk as well.  Shouldn't there be a higher concern for a player getting a DWI?

It has become very clear, recently, that the NFL does not take DWI as seriously as substance abuse.  Case in point, Josh Gordon vs Aldon Smith.  Why is it that a guy smokes some weed and gets suspended indefinitely while another guy gets arrested for a DWI, goes to rehab for like a week and comes back to his team, then gets on a plane and says he has a bomb and gets the equivalent to a slap on the hand.  People have made the case that Smith is a top player and that's why the NFL lets him slide, but Josh Gordon was the NFL's leading receiver in 2013 and received no such treatment.

I agree that if you violate the league's policy you should be punished, and I think that Gordon's punishment is just.  I just don't agree that Aldon Smith and others who drink and drive should get off.  Will the NFL do something to crack down on DWI's, or do we need a few more Josh Brent situations to happen before Goodell and company get the message?  I pray for the former over the latter.

Load