Gordon violated the NFL’s banned-substances policy for the second time in as many years — this summer he was again caught smoking marijuana.
Last year Gordon failed a drug test and was suspended for two games for smoking a joint. This year Gordon will miss the entire 2014 season because of the second infraction, though this time he argues that it was second-hand inhalation.
Rice, on the other hand, was suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season for knocking his fiancée out cold in an Atlantic City, N.J. elevator and dragging her body out.
In the third week of the NFL season, Rice’s Baltimore Ravens will play Gordon’s Cleveland Browns but only Rice will be on the field because smoking pot is considered a worse crime than domestic violence.
This story shines light on the backwards policies and regulations of the NFL. Plaxico Burress brought an unlicensed gun in a nightclub and shot himself in the leg only to receive a four game suspension — just a quarter of what Gordon got. The NFL has very outdated policies regarding marijuana.
Washington and Colorado have already legalized marijuana and there are over 10 other states that aren’t far behind. It seems as though it will soon be legal to smoke pot in most places and it seems hard to find someone who would still argue that marijuana is worse for you than alcohol.
The NFL is slowly progressing to an enlightened world but needs to pick up the pace before they start losing fans who aren’t willing to watch violent men and dog fighters play while casual marijuana smokers are forced out of the league because of rules that are over 20 years old.
When they put drug offences under the collective bargaining agreement making all punishments mandatory and nearly ironclad, the NFL and the NFL Players Association sure did paint themselves into a corner.
The league has no excuse for why domestic abuse was only a two-game suspension up until a couple days ago when it was changed to six — even six isn’t nearly enough for an offence so disturbing. The second offence, which is a lifetime ban, should be the penalty for the first offence.
Send a message NFL, prove to all the skeptics that you’re not just a corporate, heartless, money making machine. Prove that the NFL really does care about their players conduct.
Graphic: Stephanie Mah/Graphics Editor