If you’ve been living on the dark side of the moon for the past couple of weeks, then you probably missed the TMZ video of Ray Rice using his fist to lay down the ordinance inside an elevator on his then fiancé. The original video that surfaced February 2014 featured Rice dragging his unconscious girlfriend out into the hallway of an Atlantic City casino, and it warranted only a two-game suspension by the NFL.
Now since the video of Ray Rice actually striking his wife has surfaced for the public, the NFL has changed their tune and placed Rice on an indefinite suspension, reversing their initial two-week suspension. All of this makes NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appear to have the integrity of a warm jar of mayonnaise, and now with the AP report that the NFL actually saw the knockout tape back in April and utilized it to make their initial two-week suspension, the public’s confidence in the NFL is at an all-time low.
The NFL’s slap-on-the-wrist of domestic abusers simply illustrates its Draconian policy on players that use marijuana, and let’s not understate the NFL abhors any player that appreciates the same leafy substance you’re probably on while reading this.
Take for example Cleveland Brown’s wide receiver Josh Gordon who tested positive for marijuana earlier this year and after an unusually long deliberation, was suspended from the NFL for an entire year. Gordon maintains that his positive test was attributed to second-hand smoke, which seems pretty absurd considering that in 2010 Gordon and his fellow Baylor University teammate were found passed out in a local Taco Bell drive-thru with an absurd amount of marijuana stashed in his car. The fact still remains that Josh Gordon’s punishment for testing positive for marijuana is 800% more severe than a guy that knocked out his fiancé inside of an elevator and pulled her out like a caveman dragging a freshly mauled trophy. Just think about that while I clear this bong — finishing your bowl is a mandatory policy for all High Times writers.
The point of this is not to remove the much-needed spotlight on domestic abuse in America. Out of the 78 NFL player arrests from 2013-2014, eight of those were due to domestic violence and all but one of them had a determined punishment by the NFL. The best that can come from the Ray Rice incident is the country realizes there should be no tolerance for any form of domestic battery, even if bonehead NFL commissioner Roger Goodell believes otherwise.
If you’re still on the fence about NFL’s marijuana policy being the absolute worst, consider that the NFL’s threshold for identifying marijuana users is 15 nanograms of THC per milliliter. Compare that to the 150 ng/mL threshold for Olympic athletes established by an organization named World Anti-Doping Agency and it’s rather easy to see the NFL loathes your favorite pastime.
There was another NFL player that was busted for weed in 2014. On May 30th, Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington received a season-long suspension (without pay) for testing positive for marijuana, and even released a pre-written apology letter insisting that he’s “committed to making changes in my life.” What you may not know about Daryl Washington is that two months prior to his suspension, he was arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child which resulted in her right collarbone being broken. The NFL’s punishment? Nothing – even after Washington pled guilty to aggravated assault, a class 6 felony.
Let’s not be fooled, these are the values of the NFL, folks. Actually comedian Michelle Wolf said it best, “If you date an NFL player, change your name to marijuana. That way if he hits you, they’ll punish him.”