Year-Long Suspension Would Be Too Harsh For Cleveland Browns' Josh Gordon

By Andrew Fisher
Josh Gordon
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Things were going great for the Cleveland Browns until this past Friday afternoon. The energy the Johnny Manziel selection had given the franchise was quickly washed away by news of a possible suspension for Josh Gordon.

The WR is no stranger to suspensions for failed drug tests, as he was banned for two games in 2013 for a positive marijuana test. That’s reportedly the case once again in 2014, except this time Gordon could face a devastating year-long ban from the NFL.

As you would imagine, the topic of a one-year suspension for toking up has many people talking and debating. On the surface, it does seem a bit harsh to ban a guy for an entire year because of marijuana use. At the same time, he’s got to play by the same rules as everyone else.

So even though Gordon may technically be in the wrong and the NFL would be well within its rights to ban him in 2014 — it doesn’t mean we’re having the right conversation.

Marijuana is hardly a PED. It’s not like Gordon is popping adderall before every game for extra energy, or like he’s juicing with the latest and greatest steroids on the market. He got high in his spare time and now his whole life could be greatly altered.

I believe Gordon should be banned for at least four games and at most for eight games. He needs to be sent a message. Whether the system is fair or not, he’s (allegedly) broken company policy. Therefore he should be punished.

But just like the rest of the United States, it’s time for the NFL to re-evaluate its stance on marijuana. Roger Goodell has talked about the idea of allowing medical cannabis use, so perhaps this Gordon situation will further that discussion?

Whether you support marijuana use or not, most of us should be able to agree that a year-long ban for an athlete using it is a bit extreme.

In the meantime, Gordon is best-served to go ahead and put the pipe down.


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