NFL Setting the Wrong Precedent By Upholding Josh Gordon Suspension

By spencergerman
Getty Images
Getty Images

Today the NFL announced its decision to uphold the season-long suspension of the Cleveland Browns‘ star receiver Josh Gordon, a move that will further tarnish the billion dollar business’ image.

Now I understand that it is outlined in the CBA between the players and teams that after a third failed drug test a player is to be suspended for the entirety of the upcoming season. However, with societal acceptance of marijuana growing everyday, and with the questionable two-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for domestic abuse looming over their heads already, this was the NFL’s chance to right some wrongs.

For starters, marijuana is a drug that in some states has been legalized for recreational use already. In a matter of years it will most likely be legal in more than half the states if not the entire country. So while I understand the NFL sticking to their guns and going by what is laid out in the CBA, I also think a year-long suspension is a bit harsh for something that is quickly becoming completely acceptable. I get it if the NFL still wants to keep their players clean of the drug, but it’s not like we’re talking about performance enhancing drugs here. It was weed.

To make matters worse, you throw in Rice’s two-game suspension after an altercation with his wife, where he knocked her unconscious and dragged her out of an elevator, and all the sudden the NFL looks a little backwards in their thinking. What’s the saying in society, “the punishment should fit the crime?” Have you ever heard of that, Roger Goodell? Let’s keep Rice out for two weeks because oh, he’s a changed man, but Gordon is going to get a year for something I can go buy legally in several states. Give me a break.

I don’t care if Rice helped 100 old ladies cross the street or saved 25 babies from a house fire since then, it doesn’t take away from the fact that he still sucker punched his, at the time, fiancé, knocked her out cold and then continued to drag her around and act like nothing was wrong.

There was obviously an uproar already a few weeks back when the two-game suspension for Rice was announced and they stood by the decision since then. But this was a chance to maybe salvage some respect and realize that while Gordon’s third failed drug test is unacceptable in their eyes, Rice’s domestic abuse incident is unacceptable by the human race.

The NFL blew an opportunity to take a stand on a huge issue that faces not only the United States, but the world, and instead  shrugged it off and pretended it was no big deal, while they collect their billions of dollars. Well, I hope they enjoy collecting their billions of complaint letters over the next year. An organization that recognizable should be setting an example and making a difference.

They will protect players from getting their bell rung during a game, where the purpose is to hit each other as hard as you can, but when it happens in real life it’s not their problem. What a disappointing moment for the NFL.

Spencer German is a writer for Follow him/her on Twitter @Spencito6. “Like” him/her on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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