Josh Gordon Suspended, Breaks NFL Substance Abuse Policy Third Time
NFL Wide Receiver Josh Gordon suspended a third time for breaking substance abuse policy. This past week, the Cleveland Browns athlete again violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy, resulting in at least a 1 year suspension without pay from the league.
Josh Gordon Suspended
Josh Gordon suspended, again, for alcohol use. General Manager Ray Farmer says he is, “disappointed to once again be at this point with Josh,” according to a comment he made to ESPN. “Throughout his career we have tried to assist him in getting support like we would with any member of our organization. Unfortunately our efforts have not resonated with him. It is evident that Josh needs to make some substantial strides to live up to the positive culture we are trying to build this football team upon. Our hope is that this suspension affords Josh the opportunity to gain some clarity in determining what he wants to accomplish moving forward and if he wants a career in the National Football League.” Adam Schefter of ESPN claimed Gordon was unable to pass his alcohol screening on January 25 when the team was tested. The NFL has made several attempts to enforce their zero tolerance policy with Gordon’s continued display of rule breaking in the drug policy.
Financial toll and consequences
With Josh Gordon suspended, part of his penalty requires him to hand over a portion of his signing bonus (which, if prorated, would equal about $564,000). Fortunately for the star, he has the opportunity to collect it back later. Gordon was set to become a free agent this year, but because of his prior suspensions for failing drug tests, which prohibited him from being able to meet the six-game minimum requirement, he’ll have to wait. Gordon won’t own his rights in 2016, so if he wants to play, he will have to apply to be reinstated.
Understanding substance use disorders
Despite his Stage 3 classification within the NFL’s substance abuse program, it has hopefully occurred to the Brown’s management team, that if the first and second suspension didn’t stop Gordon from abusing substances, then why would a third be any different? Even though Gordon claimed in an article on ESPN that he wasn’t an alcoholic or an addict, he has continued to display signs of unmanageability throughout his career. Not to mention, Josh Gordon was arrested on July 5, 2014 for a DUI and plead guilty. Instead of punishing Gordon with more suspensions and a slap on the wrist, he might benefit from receiving actual treatment for substance abuse. Only time will tell if Gordon is suffering form the disease of alcoholism or just a string of bad luck circumstances.
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