We have all been made acutely aware of the moral failings of the National Football League. They’ve never been a group who was known for its value in building role models, but the problem seems to have escalated, just recently. Maybe the NFL attracts the type of people who are oversupplied in whatever it is that tells someone to take risks, or maybe they build an environment that creates an invincibility complex, but either way, these players are out of control.
The fact that the NFL is populated with convicted criminals isn’t news to any of us, and considering how effective the recent NFL boycott is, obviously we are all thoroughly fed up with the players. However, even those of us already willing to write them off might be surprised by just how bad some of the misconduct has gotten.
According to Fox Business, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has admitted to an out of control drug and alcohol habit that was responsible for his suspension:
“The 26-year-old Gordon did the interview before meeting with Goodell in New York.
Gordon outlined a pregame routine where he would do shots of alcohol to “get the motor running.”
‘If I had already been drug tested that week, or the day before the game, I knew I had a couple days to buy to clean my system,” he said in the interview.
‘Even before I was getting tested for alcohol, prior to my DWI in 2014, I would take the biggest bong rip I could. And try to conceal all the smell off all my clothes. I’d be dressed up to go to the game. A bunch of guys smoke weed before the game. But we’re not talking about them.’”
This doesn’t tell the story of a casual encounter with controlled substances. This is the patter of a person whose life is being controlled by when he can feel the effects of the mind-altering substance of his choice.
However, the NFL is once again going to cooperate with whatever one of their darling players wants to do. Apparently, law-abiding citizen isn’t one of the requirements to pull a multi-million dollar paycheck from the league that America hates.
NFL.com outlines exactly what punishment Gordan is going to receive for his absurdly public use of illegal drug use:
“Josh Gordon is getting yet another chance.
The Cleveland Browns receiver — who hasn’t played in a regular-season game since 2014 — is set to be reinstated on a conditional basis by the NFL, the league announced Wednesday.
Effective immediately, Gordon may join the Browns to attend meetings, engage in conditioning work and individual workouts,” the league stated in a release. “Subject to compliance with clinical and other requirements, he will be placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list and be permitted to practice with the team beginning on Monday, November 20. Beginning Monday, November 27, Gordon will be eligible at the team’s discretion to return to active status or to remain on the Commissioner’s Exempt list for an additional week before returning to active status.”
Gordon’s last game came in Week 16 of the 2014 season when the Browns fell to the Carolina Panthers 17-13. The receiver was suspended without pay for at least one year on Feb. 3, 2015, after he tested positive for alcohol, which violated the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse due to Gordon’s past DUI.
He was working toward a return in 2016, participating in training camp and Cleveland’s preseason. That never happened, as Gordon voluntarily checked himself into an inpatient rehabilitation facility in October to “gain full control of my life,” ending his chance of playing that season and adding another chapter to Cleveland’s frustration with the immensely talented player who had plenty of off-field struggles.
The league denied Gordon’s reinstatement petition in May. Gordon’s business manager, Michael Johnson, said at that time that Gordon was in “the best place mentally that he has been in dating back years before entering the NFL.
“We’ve been informed of the league’s decision to reinstate Josh,” Browns EVP of Football Operations Sashi Brown said in a statement obtained by Rapoport. “The personal well-being of all our players is of the utmost importance to us. We respect and commend Josh for taking the steps necessary to have the opportunity to return to the league. Josh will be in our building in the coming days and we look forward to having him back and sitting with him to discuss his future on our team.’”
With Gordan having missed 50+ games since 2014 due to this suspensions, he has forfeited close to $3 million. The suspension and fines are going to drive this former star athlete into the ground, even if he starts playing again this week. At this point, players like Gordan are damaging an already tarnished reputation in the NFL and causing their fans to hate them even more.
If the NFL wants to have any hope of survival, they’re going to have to stop messing around with drug users and wife beaters and anti-Americans and clean up their reputation.