Sunday, September 7, 2014

The NFL, the NFLPA, and the Lack of Progress

So the NFL and the player's union, the NFLPA, have been hard at work trying to hammer out a new agreement to address some of the inconsistencies in current policy. While they all agree there isn't likely to be amnesty for players who have been suspended for marijuana use, they do agree they'll update the policies to include a higher testing cutoff point before players are disciplined. I'm sure that's very reassuring for Josh Gordon, the receiver for the Cleveland Browns. Josh, as I've discussed here before, has been suspended for a year after testing positive for marijuana.

Now before anyone gets on me, I do not personally condone marijuana use. I don't have strong opinions as to whether it should be legal or not but I do believe smoking anything is dangerous. Our lungs are made for air. Not pollutants designed to make us feel better through chemical alteration.

But, having said that, I still have a huge problem with players being suspended for an entire year for smoking pot but for two games for acts that should have put them in jail. Yes, Ray Rice, I'm talking to you. You may be a male but you are certainly not a man. You are a coward and an abuser and you deserve to go to jail.

Over the past several weeks, reports have come out telling us that the union and the league have moved closer together in negotiations, then further apart, then closer together. Even reaching an agreement isn't going to bring about any real changes for some time as the agreement must go to lawyers for review and be voted on by the NFLPA board. So really, the only thing the two parties can report is a lack in progress toward any meaningful progress.

You know, if I wrote a book that included the punishments handed down by the NFL, it would be viewed as utterly implausible. How very sad that it's not fiction. To those of you who write NFL fiction, I salute you. Personally, I have trouble watching it right now. I can say this, though. In my book, Ray Rice would suffer a horrible fate in prison while Josh Gordon would have served a two game suspension and been back on the field. That's just me, though. You decide which reality would be better.
 

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