Football

Up in Smoke

One thing is certain about the 2014 NFL season, there will be a new WR king.  Browns WR Josh Gordon found out on August 27, 2014  the entire 2014 football season as well as the 2015 preseason would be blown up in a haze of smoke
Less than 10 days before the start of the 2014 season the NFL upheld a year long suspension against Josh Gordon for violating the substance abuse policy for testing positive for marijuana. With the exception of the Cleveland Browns organization no one was surprised by the strict ban. Quite frankly, the Browns should not have been surprised either. Gordon missed the first two games of the 2013 season due to substance abuse violations. Gordon still managed to finish the season with more receptions than any other wide receiver. Though the suspension leaves a void in the Brown offensive core not even Cleveland Brown fans should waste to many tears on poor Josh Gordon.  The substance abuse policy is clearly spelled out in every NFL contract per the league CBA (collective bargaining agreement).

This is not Gordon’s first time at the suspension rodeo. He has suffered with issues repeatedly since his college. Clearly, the young man has a problem but that dos not mean he is not culpable for his actions. All of his past infractions have come during the off season, it’ clear in Gordon’s case idle time is indeed the devil’s paradise.  Maybe Gordon should spend more time taking responsibility for his actions, getting help for his  issues, and less time blaming the NFL. In a statement issued after the league ruling was made public Gordon said,  “I’d like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans. I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn’t exercise better discretion and judgment in my case.” Really, Mr. Gordon whether you agree with the policy or not you signed a contract agreeing to adhere to the policy. Violating it repeatedly does not show a lack of discretion and judgement on the NFL’s behalf  but instead beams a spotlight on you. If anyone should exercise better discretion and judgment it is you.

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. jamesrobertmay

    I appreciate the candor you use when you speak of your feelings about the ban being justified. I agree that when something is in writing (no matter how unfair it might be in the grand scheme of things) in a contract that reflects the CBA, it should be upheld no matter what. I don’t agree that players should be punished so severely for using a substance that is also medicinal and legal in many states, but regardless this was not the way for Gordon to push the boundaries if that’s what his intent was. If he cared about the issue itself, he could have been a public advocate and activist for the matter. Instead, he is the example for wasted talent and potential.
    At the end of the day, excelling in the NFL and navigating all of its murky water takes character and that is something that Gordon is not displaying in his disregard for the rules. I agree that Gordon needs to look in the mirror and hold himself accountable, but I would also really like to see him take his story and make some good out of it by speaking out against the double standard that exists in the league.

    I like that you used a clip from First Take. What connection if any do you see in Stephen A Smiths misstep in his comments about Ray Rice? I think he did ESPN and himself a good deal of positive PR in his public apology. Its actually kind of ironic because Ray Rice’s assault on his girlfriend is the other suspension in the league that gets compared to Gordon’s and clearly one of the two issues is a real epidemic and the other is one that too many people, the NFL included, have bought into.

    Thanks for your post!
    James

  2. jamesrobertmay

    I appreciate the candor you use when you speak of your feelings about the ban being justified. I agree that when something is in writing (no matter how unfair it might be in the grand scheme of things) in a contract that reflects the CBA, it should be upheld no matter what. I don’t agree that players should be punished so severely for using a substance that is also medicinal and legal in many states, but regardless this was not the way for Gordon to push the boundaries if that’s what his intent was. If he cared about the issue itself, he could have been a public advocate and activist for the matter. Instead, he is the example for wasted talent and potential.
    At the end of the day, excelling in the NFL and navigating all of its murky water takes character and that is something that Gordon is not displaying in his disregard for the rules. I agree that Gordon needs to look in the mirror and hold himself accountable, but I would also really like to see him take his story and make some good out of it by speaking out against the double standard that exists in the league.
    I like that you used a clip from First Take. What connection if any do you see in Stephen A Smiths misstep in his comments about Ray Rice? I think he did ESPN and himself a good deal of positive PR in his public apology. Its actually kind of ironic because Ray Rice’s assault on his girlfriend is the other suspension in the league that gets compared to Gordon’s and clearly one of the two issues is a real epidemic and the other is one that too many people, the NFL included, have bought into.
    Thanks for your post!
    James

Write A Comment