The NFL has been busy with harsh rulings this week. First, the league upheld Josh Gordon‘s year-long ban for a second failed drug test. Next, Roger Goodell admitted that he botched the Ray Rice situation, and introduced a new harsh policy for those involved in domestic violence cases.
Another hammer came down on Friday in the form of a nine-game suspension for Aldon Smith. The San Francisco 49ers linebacker has been in trouble on multiple occasions (DUI-related incidents, bomb threat at LAX) over the past couple of years, and it appears Goodell wanted to send him a loud message.
Source says Aldon Smith 9-game suspension broke down this way: 4 games substance-abuse violation, 5 games personal-conduct violations
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) August 29, 2014
Make no mistake about it, Smith needed this lengthy ban. He needed to be sent a loud and clear message to clean up his act. Playing in the NFL is a privilege, and there are certain things players just can’t do. Such things include: getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol, making bomb threats at a large airport and being involved with illegal weapons.
It’s time for Smith to grow up, or get out. The next time he screws up you have to believe he’ll end up with the same fate as Gordon — sitting on the shelf for an entire season.
After all the criticism the NFL took this summer for its mishandling of the Rice fiasco, it seems that they at least got the message that they screwed up.
Is this a new era of punishments and player standards in the NFL?