(The NFL Came down hard today on those with drug infractions, went light on wife abusers and the jury is still out on owners who drive drunk - What's going on Mr. Goodell?)
By Rich Winter
The sports world is alive today buzzing over the curious decisions and punishments handed out by the NFL today.
Twitter is abuzz over a two-game suspension for a football player who beat his wife unconscious and a noted pot-smoker who lost his livelihood for a whole season.
To add to the mystery of how and why these decisions are reached, the sports world is still waiting to hear what the punishment is for Colts owner Jim Irsay who was pulled over earlier this year for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance.
The controlled substance was found to be prescription drugs. The drugs were not associated with any prescription bottles in the vehicle.
So Irsay was arrested in March and initially NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell didn't take action because he said he wanted to wait for due process. That due process was court in May where Irsay was charged with the above crimes. Well, of course he had another hearing on June 19, so Goodell could put off any NFL fines or suspensions or loss of draft picks until after that.
Well, the hearing has come and gone and still no word.
So, today the NFL handed out some curious suspensions.
Troubled Browns wide receiver, Josh Gordon got the max, a one-year suspension for his failed drug test earlier this year. Of course, this was not the first time Gordon has run afoul of the NFL Drug policy. To add to Gordon's woes, was a DWI arrest earlier this month in South Carolina with a blood alcohol level of .09.
I went on record a few weeks ago marveling at the outrage over Josh Gordon being tossed under the bus for 'just' smoking pot. At that same time, I also noted that I was glad he was arrested for the DWI so that he could understand the full danger that drinking and driving has to offer.
With the arrest for DWI, people came out of the wood-works, expressing concern for Gordon, who some thought seemed to be a lost soul.
D'Qwell Jackson, a linebacker who now plays for the Colts but was Gordon's teammate in Cleveland the last two years, wrote on Twitter that he's concerned about Gordon's ability to manage his life after Gordon was arrested for DWI.
"If you're close to Josh Gordon please help this kid, it's not about football anymore it's about picking up the pieces of his life," Jackson wrote.
Picking up the pieces of his life, eh?
From where I'm standing, I see a guy that has made some poor choices. I abhor drunk driving and know of too many innocent people who have lost their lives to drunks on the road.
I also see a guy that likes to smoke weed once in a while.
Gordon is appealing his suspension and gets his date with Roger Goodell on Aug. 1.
Double standard of hypocrisy:
So, about a week ago, I wrote a blog about a bunch of NFL players that included Marcellus Wiley and Richard Dent, who publicly came out and said the NFL handed out narcotic, pain-killers like they were candy. The suit and the comments from the former NFL players says if you weren't feeling practice or were having a down day, all you had to do is ask someone in the training room and they would hook up up.
How is that ok but smoking pot is not?
As the countries views change on the usage of marijuana, isn't it time the NFL differentiate between hard drugs, prescription drugs and light use of marijuana.
I guess weapons charges are no big deal:
And then you have the curious case of Aldon Smith who had a DUI, a potential bomb threat to his name and a whole mess of felonious weapons charges against him.
No action from the NFL and this is all he has to do to get out of his jam.
According to Tracy Kaplan of theSan Jose Mercury News, a judge has sentenced 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith to12 days in jailon gun and DUI charges. He gets credit for one day served, and he'll serve the remaining 11 by participating in a work crew on Mondays, starting July 28.
It means that he'll typically miss one day of work each week until the 11 days are served, exposing Smith to a fine from the 49ers. The bigger consequence as it relates to Smith's job comes from the decision to reduce the three weapons charges from felonies to misdemeanors. That gives the outcome far less sting, from a legal standpoint.
Someone explain to me how this is possible, I just don't get it.
You smoke pot and you're done for a year but you brandish automatic weapons at a house party, take part in a weirdo bomb threat and get a DUI and you get ten days in jail, to be spread out over a few months with one day a week.
I'm seriously confused.
The Final Straw - It's not all that bad to hit a woman:
(I guess the pink ribbon of Breast Cancer Awareness is more visible than the purple one that is used to promote no more violence against women)
About the same time as Gordon was getting the news that he was done for the year, Ravens RB, Ray Rice was getting the news that he will be facing a two-game suspension for beating his wife unconscious in the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel.
Since then Rice and his girlfriend have married and Rice has apologized for his actions profusely.
I'm baffled on this one and I'm surprised that women's groups everywhere don't come unglued.
Isn't the NFL a big sponsor for Breast Cancer Awareness?
So they care about women with cancer but not about women that are beaten unconscious.
Dear Mr. Goodell, if you're not familiar with Domestic Violence, let me toss out some numbers to fill in the blanks for you.
Domestic Violence Statistics:
* One woman is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds in the United States. (Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1991).
* Three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husbands, or male lovers.
* There are 1,500 shelters for battered women in the United States. There are 3,800 animal shelters
A battering incident is rarely an isolated event.
Battering tends to increase and become more violent over time.
Many batterers learned violent behavior growing up in an abusive family.
25% - 45% of all women who are battered are battered during pregnancy.(Want more, and there are plenty - Visit this site...(http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/facts.htm) Rich Winter thoughts: I just cannot even begin to wrap my head around the events of today. Clearly the message sent from Commissioner Goodell is that smoking pot is worse that beating a woman. Clearly. How else do you explain these types of punishments. You can go on and on and on telling me, 'Well, it's Josh Gordon's 3rd offense and blah..blah.' At the end of the day, Gordon's use of marijuana is not beating his wife, it's not smoking crack and it's not ingesting illegal narcotics by the handful just because he doesn't feel good.
I would seriously like some answers as to why pot smoking is worse than brandishing automatic weapons and threatening an airport with a bomb.
And then you have to wonder how all of these players are getting fined and suspended and Irsay is probably sitting there eyes glassed over, doing a shot with not a worry in the world.
Get it together Roger and let's stop the double-standard and let the punishment fit the crime.