Arrested Development Part II

Ray Rice Press Conference

It’s one thing for a college kid to throw away their future. In all seriousness, they are 18-20 year old kids who made a stupid mistake. However, it is another thing entirely for a professional athlete who makes millions of dollars to throw it away because of weed, alcohol, or their temper.

THE FACTS:

How about we start with Josh Gordon (WR, CLE)?

–          Josh Gordon: Failed Drug test in June. Arrested for a DWI in July (0.9 BAC).

–          Gordon standout wide receiver who amazed the league with 87 rec, 1646 yds, 9TDs

–          Signed a four-year, $5.342 million contract. The deal contains $3.8 million guaranteed — a $2.324 million signing bonus

Commissioner Roger Goodell gave Josh Gordon a year ban from NFL. Today, reports are that Gordon has checked himself into a rehab facility.

Greg Hardy (DE, CAR)?

–          Greg Hardy was charged with domestic abuse on May 14 involving his girlfriend

–          Found guilty on July 15 given 18 months of probation

–          On March 4, 2014, Hardy signed a one year/$13.116M franchise tag

Goodell has not decided Hardy’s fate as of yet.

What about Ray Rice?

–          Rice was charged with felony assault on his fiancée ( now wife) in February

–          Video surfaced showing Rice dragging his unconscious fiancée out the elevator

–          Entered pre-trial intervention program will not serve time (fined $58,000)

–          Signed a five-year, $35 million contract. The deal contains $24 million guaranteed, including a $15 million signing bonus

Today, Goodell suspended Rice for only two games.

              How could we forget Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay?

–          Arrested on March 16 for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Also, inside the car, Irsay possessed multiple bottles of prescription drugs

–          Irsay still attended the NFL Owner’s meeting, and pitched for Indianapolis to host an upcoming Super Bowl

No sanction yet from Goodell.

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THE AFTERMATH:

  1. I didn’t know marijuana outweighed millions of dollars. I never met a blunt that was worth 4yr/$10M.
  2. It is a tragedy what these athletes are doing to women. I don’t know if steroids, alcohol, or some other drug is involved, but it is not an excuse. There are numerous domestic abuse and sexual assault cases in the news of late (high school, college, and professional). A friend pointed out to me this morning, imagine how many more go unreported?
  3. I’m not shocked that the NFL has more arrests than the NBA and MLB. I’m shocked at the low number for both leagues. The two leagues combined are less than a 1/3rd of the total arrests in the NFL. I look at the commissioners of each league.
  4. I believe the commissioner deserves blame as well. Roger Goodell serves as the judge, jury, and executioner of punishment in the NFL. Punishment that doesn’t seem equal across the board
  5. Players like Roddy White, Ryan Clark, among others have been very vocal about the dictatorship that is the NFL. In other leagues, where a group, committee, or even a series of advisers to the commissioner levy the punishment, it’s just Goodell. He has rushed to quick, severe punishment on multiple occasions without fair investigating.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

I’m usually pro-players in every situation, but even I am at my limit. These players are given a gift and an opportunity that the rest of us can only dream of. You have to hold them accountable.

Why are you driving under the influence of alcohol? Couldn’t you just hire a driver or call a taxi? Why can’t you control your liquor?

Why are you going to night clubs every weekend when you should be studying your playbook? Better question, why are you fighting strangers in a night club when you’re the one with everything to lose?

My last question, what makes you think it is ever okay to put your hands on a woman? There is no excuse for domestic abuse or sexual assault. She didn’t “have it coming.” She “wasn’t asking for it.”

The punishments for players are not on the same scale. Ray Rice struck his wife. Then, he proceeded to carry her unconscious body out the elevator through the hallway. Yet, Goodell only suspended him for two games.

This sends the message that Goodell cares more about his strict drug policy than harming a woman. He cares more about you harming his product (the athlete) than someone else.

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