Josh Gordon has no one to blame but himself for his year-long suspension for another positive drug test. Yes, the NFL rules on marijuana are misguided and out of touch, but disliking a law isn’t a defense for breaking it.
The uproar over Ray Rice’s two-game suspension is the catalyst for most of the anger directed toward Gordon’s year-long ban. How could a man caught on video assaulting his girlfriend get a two-game suspension when a man who tested positive for a substance that’s legal in two states and decriminalized elsewhere gets a full season?
Gordon has now failed multiple drug tests in both college and the NFL. The positive NFL test led to a two-game suspension at the start of last season. In order to be on the field for the Browns’ Week 1 game against the Steelers, he had to do one thing: pass every drug test in the offseason. He didn’t do that. The penalty is a year-long ban. It was enforced properly.
What’s the complaint, exactly? That Gordon shouldn’t have to serve the penalty he knew he was risking? If you want to argue the CBA policy on discipline is terrible, I’ll join you. If you want to argue that any system which prohibits suspensions for DUI arrests but suspends for smoking weed is capricious, arbitrary and not in the best interests of NFL players or fans, you’ll find no disagreement here. But the rule is the rule, and it’s one the players agreed to in the CBA.