Time for the NFL to Concede That Beating Women Is Worse Than Smoking Pot

Unapproved fun or unprovoked violence? The choice should be easy.


Josh Gordon
Erik Daniel Drost

Is smoking pot more reprehensible than beating women?

That's something the NFL will have to decide soon, as league officials consider the future of superstar Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon (pictured), who faces a year-long suspension for failing a drug test earlier this year.

The day after the NFL Draft in May, it was announced that Gordon, the league's leader in receiving yards last season, could be suspended for an entire year after testing positive for marijuana. Since the 23-year old has a lengthy history of substance "abuse"—having been kicked off of Baylor's team in college for positive marijuana tests and serving a two-game suspension in 2013 for testing positive for the banned substance codeine—it was widely assumed the league would show no mercy, and that the dream team of Gordon and Browns hotshot rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel would have to wait another year.

However, that was before a public relations nightmare involving Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice occurred. In February, a video surfaced of Rice entering an elevator with his wife, and exiting moments later—dragging her out unconscious. Rice pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault, and avoided trial by being accepted into a pre-trial intervention program. On July 25, the NFL suspended him for a grand total of two games.

The slap on the wrist sparked outrage across the political spectrum—from congressmen, to sports talk show host and liberal pundit Keith Olberman, to Republican governor of Maine Paul LePage, who even threatened to boycott the league.

"The response to the Rice suspension was eye-opening," wrote ESPN NFL's Jane McManus of the rare unanimous consensus against the league.

Now, officials are attempting to draft a new policy that would crack down on players involved in domestic violence. The Washington Post reported that a new policy is being pushed that would increase the punishment to four- to six- game suspensions for first-time violators, with the possibility of a one-year ban for second-time offenders.

But in order to enact such a policy, the NFL Players Association has to be on board. And while the organization surely doesn't want to be seen as protecting wife abusers, it won't agree to stricter punishments unless there is quid pro quo by the league. That quid pro quo seems likely to come in the form of lessening the penalties for users of cannabis.

"The league is crafting a crafty way out of this mess where they can explain why they're bending the rules and lessening the punishment for Josh Gordon," said Browns beat reporter Tony Grossi on ESPN Cleveland radio. "They'll use it to promote this new advanced discipline policy, which also includes the domestic abuse policy that they're working on."

If this policy change happens, it could very likely generate millions of dollars for the NFL and its sponsors by giving fans what they want: the chance this season to see Gordon play with Manziel, the former Heisman Trophy winner and TMZ darling.

Yes, it's true that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn't historically made decisions based on catering to superstars. In fact, his six-game suspension to Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for his alleged involvement in a sexual assault indicates the opposite, as Roethlisberger was never charged with a crime but still received a harsher penalty than Rice.

But in this case, giving Gordon a break is a win-win situation. Not only would it allow one of the top young stars to play; it also addresses the NFL's current hypocritical stance of punishing non-violent offenders worse than wife beaters—a policy that's quickly eating up the political capital generated a few months ago when the St. Louis Rams drafted the first openly gay player, Michael Sam.

An announcement on the fate of Gordon and the NFL discipline policy may come by the end of the week.


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  1. Yeah, but smokin’ pot could affect a player’s ability to…play…potentially. So therefore, it’s job related.

    Beatin’ up his bitch, OTOH, doesn’t affect his game. Might IMPROVE it…from the rush, you know.

    Nope – good shoot ruling, NFLzis.

    1. But, what about blacks who are tackling other blacks?

      1. Black on black violence isn’t a thing. I thought everyone understood that.

      2. What if Ed “Biceps” Hochuli, loses it after one too many black players has questioned his authority and he fires six into Marvin Lewis?

        1. Lewis coaches in Cincy. I doubt it would be the first time he saw gunplay.

          1. I’d say he probably expects it at this point.

      3. And what do millennials think about it?

    2. Dammit, I came here to say this. Players who are expected to be violent on the field are supposed to be violent. It is my understanding that pot lowers one’s desire for violence, therefore it’s bad.

    3. “Yeah, but smokin’ pot could affect a player’s ability to…play…potentially.” “it was announced that Gordon, the league’s leader in receiving yards last season, ”
      Doesn’t seem to be affecting him too much.

    1. Hmmmmm, wonder what hue officer Sean Stafiej is. He pulled over the car in which the blacks, er, backs were.

      1. He appears to be a creamy pink hue.

        1. LOL @ bicycle division. We have those guys down here too. And a golf cart division. Really hard to take them seriously.

          1. All right scumbag, in the basket. You’re going downtown.

            1. I’d rather be cuffed in a bike basket than on a police boat.


              1. LaGarette’s 75 yard TD run last year against Indy in the divisional playoff round at Gillette was awesome. In fact, one of the very best playoff TD runs in the history of the Neo Fascist League.

                1. No love for Marshawn Lynch and the beginning of Beast Mode against the Saints? Blount’s was good, Lynch’s was amazing.

  2. PS My admittedly local experience is that more wimminz are still pissed about whatshisname and the dogfights.

    Cause dogs are better people than most people, I guess…

    1. Here’s why I get more exercised over Michael Vick (who should have never been let back into the league; I watch every one of his games that I can because I want to be watching when he catches a career-ending injury):

      A person can leave or defend themselves. If you are in an abusive relationship, you still have some responsibility for not leaving.

      Dogs don’t have that option. A man who will torture and kill dogs for fun and/or profit is a man with a while different level of sadism and character issues. In my opinion.

      I won’t associate with someone who is abusive towards women, but I won’t even stay in the same room as someone who abuses dogs.

      1. I wouldn’t associate with him either but he shouldn’t have gone to jail for having his property fight on his property.

        1. Tonio is not going to like this comment.

          BTW, I agree with you.

          1. And it would have been perfectly fine for the NFL to give him a suspension. They don’t need to have the same conduct standards as the law.

        2. Apatheist, I don’t see inanimate property as existing entirely on the same level as live animals. That’s a discussion for another day. Perhaps over a deep-dish pizza.

        3. I don’t have a problem with cruelty laws. Of course, as long as he’d kept a lid on the happenings, no one would know it ever happened. He invited others to participate and one of them reported it. The problem was that he invited others to his residence to view the cruelty.
          It may seem like a double standard but most people hierarchize animals and plants. No one has ever served time for failure to water a plant, squishing a cockroach and I think cockfighting persists because most people think chickens are rather dumb. Not because they are birds (crows and parrots are quite intelligent) but because they are less interactive with humans and we mostly view them as food.

          1. Your or my personal hierarchy of animals should not be applied by force of law on others.

            And it shouldn’t matter if he invited people over, hell it shouldn’t matter if he charged admission.

      2. Serious,question: how,do,you,feel,about cock-fighting?

        1. In principle, no different than dog-fighting. My personal emotional reaction is not as bad as dog-fighting, though.

          1. We all know what chicken tastes like.

          2. Having lived in Puerto Rico for two years, I can attest to the lure of cockfights. They’re quite entertaining and a lot of,crazy shit goes on at them.

            But I look at fighting cocks as animals,raised for that specific purpose. Bantams are otherwise useless. When it comes to dogs, they’re specifically conditioned and trained to go against their natural instincts toward humans. And there’s something inherently wrong with that.

            1. I was in Tijuana with a friend back in 1997. We were drunk on tequila and high on benzedrine. We’d spent the afternoon at Agua Caliente Racetrack gambling on dog racing and college football. It was a hot September Saturday, and we decided to wander back toward our favorite bar. As we crossed the parking lot, we could hear roosters crowing from inside what initially looked like a circus tent. Entering the tent, we walked into a little bowl stadium, concrete bleachers, with a dirt arena about 15 feet diameter. There were bikini girls walking around with trays of Tecate. The audience of about 200 Mexicans were drunk, rowdy, and gambling like fiends.

              So, the trainers would walk out into the dirt arena with their roosters. They would hold the roosters up for the audience to inspect, and then let the cock strut around the dirt arena. The next team would come out with their rooster and do the same.

              1. After displaying the birds, guys in each section would walk around and negotiate odds with the audience. They were carrying huge rolls of American dollars. Having spent the better part of the day gambling, my friend and I joined in the festivities. So we get in on the action.

                Meanwhile the trainers produced these elaborately decorated wooden chests, filled with fight accessories. These included typical fight ressings including tape, laces, glue. As well as surgical steel blades, spikes, spurs, and hooks. The trainers then laced a device to each leg of the rooster. The trainer then blew some powder up the nose of the rooster. We figured it was cocaine, meth, or something to agitate the bird, maybe pepper?

                1. Then they set the roosters to fight. And these birds went at it. Hard. The crowd cheered. The roosters kicked, scratched and clawed; cutting each other with the blades strapped to their legs. After the first two minute round, the trainers collected their birds and retightened the devices, and blew powder the beaks. Back at it, the birds viciously tore into each other. After about a minute, one bird simply stopped fighting and collapsed. A winner!
                  The winner was paraded around the arena as everyone cheered, and settled their wagers. The loser had his neck wrung and was given to a lady who, presumably was going to clean it, dress it, and cook it right there in the stadium. We spent the rest of the day watching fights, gambling, drinking, smoking and eating chicken tacos. It was one of the funnest days of my life.

                  I like cock fighting.

                  1. That is three posts of pure awesome.

                  2. I had a similar experience in the Philippines except we won a lot of money. Then they brought out a mean-assed barely controllable rooster to fight some sad sack that hardly even moved. Like fools we bet on the first one. The sad sack killed the feisty one in two or three seconds and we lost everything that we won. It was a lot of fun, though.

            2. Well, as long as we are revealing our preferences in animal blood sport, I think bullfighting is the shit. Too bad Spaniards are turning into a bunch of pussies.

              Here’s how I look at it. Cattle raised for food have pretty crappy lives, even when people do what they can to minimize pain and suffering. High density feed lots, forced migration and forced breeding aren’t very pleasant things, I don’t imagine.
              A fighting bull gets to live 99% of its life doing just exactly what it wants to do with no human interference. Then has a really shitty last 15 minutes of life.
              Which life would you choose?

      3. The other day, when I was in Nigeria, caged dogs were being sold presumably for slaughter. Even that is less obscene than the cruelty of dogfighting assuming that the dogs are dispatched with quickly.
        I’ve eaten a lot of strange critters in my time but no matter how delicious it may be, I couldn’t knowingly eat a dog unless I was in a Shackleton Expedition situation.

  3. The NFL isn’t selling pot.

  4. I don’t really see an issue here. If the NFL wants to suspend or even ban drug users from the league for the sake of image, its their business. Also, IIRC didn’t Ray Rice’s wife start the fight? In which case my opinion is, don’t pick fights with people twice your size.

    1. Sure, the NFL can be as obtuse, stupid, self-centered, amoral, and generally objectionable as they want.

      And I can call them out for being fucking idiots if I want.

      If they treat pot smoking as worse than, or even the same as, actual crimes of violence, then they are fucking idiots.

      1. Of that list, the only thing I see is self centered. The league wants a family friendly image. They don’t want drug users, drunks(they suspend players for dui too) or cheerleaders pole dancing in thongs. That’s why its the No Fun League.

        1. I meant too add, that they probably expected violent off field issues to be dealt with by law enforcement and courts. They don’t have a specific policy in place for murder either.

        2. *That’s why its the No Fun League.*

          And yet, when Vince McMahon tried to give America a “Nothing BUT fun league”, he was sent home with no profits.


  5. I suppose the NFL will add a *no wife or girlfriend beating* clause to the contract. The mary jane thing is part of their contract as I understand it, so I think it’s a players union problem.

  6. Riley Cooper and Stevan Ridley for Le’Veon Bell ($22 keeper value for next year) and Tre Mason.

    Who says no??

  7. Just don’t mention the demeaning native american slang descriptors.

  8. LOL @ bicycle division. We have those guys down here too. And a golf cart division. Really hard to take them seriously.

    I’m all in favor of getting those fat fucks out of their cars and into a more humanized form of contact with the rabble.

  9. The NFL goes on about how fans run the game, so play Comfortably Numb and Smack My Bitch Up over the stadium sound system and let the fans decide by their reaction.

  10. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail


  11. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail


  12. Someone explain how the Players’ Union bargained all these ‘punishments’ with the league. I know the NFLPA did this for substance abuse–did they not do this for other general arrests, as well?

    If so, everyone can get off Goodell’s back.

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