Cory's Corner: The NFL needs to treat all troubles the same

This is the NFL and it can set what rules it wants. The Shield operates on a different level.

If the league wasn’t going to take a hard stance on Joe Mixon, who fractured four bones in a woman’s face, why can’t the league allow Josh Gordon back into the NFL?

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of marijuana, the question is puzzling. The moment Mixon’s viral punch to Amelia Molitor was released, it raised a huge question with the NFL as to where it stood with domestic violence.

Then chatter started to swell about how good of a running back he could be with his quickness, cutting and catching ability and before you knew it he was selected as the third running back taken by being the 16th overall pick of the Bengals.

This past October Gordon checked himself into rehab for 30 days. If anything, the league has to understand that he is trying to better himself and trying to give himself a chance.

Not just for the sake of Gordon, who hasn’t played since Dec. 21, 2014 and has been suspended for 43 of the last 48 games. But do it for other players who are going through the same thing and turn to rehab as they try to spin their lives around.

You don’t have to go far before you run into marijuana issues in the NFL. According to the USA Today, there are 122 mentions of marijuana in its 855 records dating back to 2000. How many of those players will be willing to do the right thing and get help if the NFL won’t be willing to reinstate them?

The marijuana issue became blurred when Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington legalized cannabis. But this isn’t just a recreational issue anymore. There are players that are concerned that by the NFL keeping marijuana on the banned substances list, the league isn’t keeping its players as healthy as they could be.

“I’m concerned about my health,” Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan told CNN. “I’m going on year seven playing in the NFL, and I think we need to know what the options are when it comes to taking care of our bodies.”

More and more information has proven how dangerous the NFL is. With head traumas, knee injuries and countless other things that can occur in one of the most entertaining collision sports, the curtain has been pulled back on the league.

So you’d think the NFL would allow its players to explore masking injuries as a way to keep the players on the field. And when it doesn’t, the league does the opposite and allows players with sharp domestic abuse problems to thrive. (The league will say it made a stand by not inviting Mixon to the NFL Combine, but his absence was the white elephant that entire week.)

It’s fine if the NFL wants to ban marijuana. That’s its right as a private organization. However, things start to get sticky when one dilemma is perceived to be better than other problems.

Gordon has plenty of problems dating back to when Baylor and Utah dismissed him for failed drug tests. The NFL has plenty of players that have checkered pasts. It needs to try and help the ones that are trying to help themselves

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (14)

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croatpackfan's picture

May 13, 2017 at 07:04 am

First, I want to gave bold statement - for me punching, kicking, slapping, beating and any similar activity against weaker person (men or women) is one of the lowest type of behavior.
But, Cory, I think you made 2 big mistakes when you were writing regarding Joe Mixon's lowest moment of his life (as far as we know). It was not DOMESTIC VIOLENCE! Domestic violence is specially bad, because both sides lives together and that gives bully opportunity to constantly repeating what he/she is doing. In Joe Mixon's case, she looked out for Joe and she started conflict with Joe. That is not domestic violence. It is pure violence. As far as we knows that happened only once in Joe Mixon's life. So, young guy, challenged from young woman reacted completely improperly, learn his lesson and move on. For me, he need to solve that issue in himself, not to react to weaker side by physical force. And If he did that or if he doing that, for me, it is OK to let him continue with his life... If he did that when he is 30, I will tend to consider if he has the right for second chance...
That is how I see this issue...

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Since'61's picture

May 13, 2017 at 08:23 am

The NFL needs to bring some consistency to what the league stands for concerning players with off-field issues. They take a strong stand against domestic violence but allow Adrian Peterson back into the league after his repugnant crime of beating his own 4 year child with a switch. If that is not the most egregious form of domestic violence I don't know what else is. The NFL's problem is that they make many of their decisions based on money and based on making money for the owners. Like him or not Pederson fills seats and sells Jerseys etc...
The same has been true for several other domestic violence criminals which have been allowed back into the league after committing their crimes. But yet they come down hard on marijuana. Increasing levels of data has been accumulated indicating that it helps people deal with pain. I know and have known many of our veterans who have been helped in dealing with their pain by medical marijuana. The problem for the NFL is that it doesn't make any money for them. As long as the league is driven by money only they will continue to make inconsistent and controversial decisions concerning their off the field and even player safety issues. Thanks, Since '61

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dobber's picture

May 13, 2017 at 09:58 am

Everything the league does is done within the construct of the CBA. The players' representatives negotiated this with the league. While we demonize Goodell and the league, he's just working within the structure that was granted to him by negotiation with the players. Maybe we don't like the actions of Goodell, but it's also the players fault for giving him too much latitude to act in response to the legal issues they've let him go after. There's fundamentally a difference between different types of issues. The league has decided that some sully the shield more than others.

The legalization of recreational pot by some states is overshadowed by the fact that FEDERALLY it's still illegal. They just aren't choosing to challenge the state statutes (yet). Until weed is legal on a national level, the feds clamp down on states that have legalized recreational pot, or until it's negotiated off the list of things the league can punish players for, this issue isn't going away.

But it IS still something the players know can get them in trouble with the league. What's more, they know some of the times they're going to be tested (um, duh, the Combine). It's stupidity on their parts to be caught at those times. We can talk about getting help and reinstating players, but Josh Gordon (see picture above) is only going through the motions of helping himself. He's putting a pretty face on his rehab, but he's still getting caught.

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worztik's picture

May 13, 2017 at 12:43 pm

As with many other issues, the antiquated view on the legalization of marijuana is still being debated by many people in government and the justice system who are REDNECKS and have no clue!!! They would prefer for a player to go out and get drunk as a skunk, jump in his vehicle and drive home where he can beat his girlfriend or wife. The issue with pot is and always has been one of misunderstanding because to talk about it changes nothing and to support the legalization may raise questions about a person's integrity. There are so many ancillary issues with pot that the vast majority know nothing about. Unlike other drugs that are metabolized out of a person's system usually within 72 hours or less, pot can show in a drug test for upwards of 30 DAYS! Even our terminology is WRONG... we SCREEN for drugs as an initial test but, we confirm through GCMS testing to show LEVELS and if is it's truly pot or a FALSE POSITIVE! We need to consider the big picture here... legalization will provide huge tax relief, eliminate street gang involvement and we'll have control that we do NOT have now... just sayin'...

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worztik's picture

May 13, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Plus, we can't forget the alcohol producers lobbyists who don't want to lose their base!!! We have been fighting pot legalization for almost 100 years... how are we doing at this time??? Just askin'...

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Bearmeat's picture

May 13, 2017 at 03:32 pm

The NFL owners are hypocrites. Goodell is their designated boogeyman, and in other news, water is wet.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

May 13, 2017 at 05:12 pm

You point to others who have been allowed to continue play and then essentially imply that they should let Gordon do so as well.

I would prefer to stiffen requirements and keep criminals and thugs out of the league. Unfortunately, these often are looked upon as idols by our youngsters. Wouldn't it be nice if the kids could see more players like Bart Starr and Reggie White and emulate them?

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worztik's picture

May 13, 2017 at 05:25 pm

YES IT WOULD, even if I don't have children!!!

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worztik's picture

May 13, 2017 at 08:58 pm

Fart Diviner... I think you must be one of the Rednecks I mentioned... the days of Bart are long gone!!! I'm sure Reggie partook of the EVIL WEED once in a while... Just sayin'....

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worztik's picture

May 13, 2017 at 08:59 pm

Which REDNECK IS GIVING ME DISLIKES??? Wake up and smell my undies....

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Ferrari Driver's picture

May 13, 2017 at 09:25 pm

Worztik's picture
Worztik says:
May 13, 2017 at 06:58 pm

Fart Diviner... I think you must be one of the Rednecks I mentioned... the days of Bart are long gone!!! I'm sure Reggie partook of the EVIL WEED once in a while... Just sayin'....

I met Bart Starr when I was a kid (with my dad) and he talked with me perhaps 15-25 minutes and made me a Bart Starr fan for life.

Not a redneck...just an old retired Company Director who had a large bunch of mostly red neck engineers and other support people who worked for me.

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worztik's picture

May 13, 2017 at 09:49 pm

Okie Dokie Driver... I, too, am a HUGE Bart Starr fan!!! I was at the game when they retired his jersey number and he's a gentleman in every way!!! I don't do unsocial media for a reason... and the anonymity of the posting drips is the main reason!!! Too easy to smart off and hide behind made up user names... I just flipped my last name around and I have nothing to hide and I'll always defend my feelings or logic!!!!
Just sayin'...

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 15, 2017 at 02:31 am

I think the NFL needs to get completely out of this quagmire and let the criminal justice system handle most of these issues. The only issues that the NFL should have its own policies on are PEDs, perhaps gambling and activities that might have a direct effect on the field.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

May 15, 2017 at 05:30 pm

I would like to agree with you except for the tendency of youngsters emulating some who are playing the game and are thugs and portray other questionable at best and deplorable at worst behavior. It should be more of a privilege to play before millions of impressionable views. It's simply different than having a job such as many of us have had during our lives where we perform a function in relative anonymity.

I think the majority of the people lean towards your opinion and I am in a minority with my thinking.

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