The NFL has “jumped the shark” with the drug policy. The phrase “jump the shark” refers to the TV show Happy Days trying to increase viewership with an episode where Fonzie jumped a tank of sharks.
The NFL has gone way too far in its attempt to keep “dangerous” drugs out of the league. Last week the NFL announced that Cleveland WR Josh Gordon had been suspended for two games for a violation. Because the NFL never releases the exact nature of the violation, we have to take what Gordon said about what drug was involved.
Gordon distributed the following statement. “In February, I was diagnosed with strep throat for which a doctor prescribed antibiotics and cough medicine. Apparently, the medicine I took contained codeine, which is prohibited by the NFL policy.”
In my opinion the off-season use of a prescribed codeine cough medicine is in no way harmful to the game. In fact the suspension flies in the face of the league’s alleged focus on player safety and well being. The league should support the players getting well under the care of a healthcare professional.
I believe the league should review the policy against prescribed use of HGH by players to recover from legitimate injuries. The evidence of the performance enhancement properties of HGH is mixed. The testing for HGH at this point requires the taking of blood from the player. Thus far the NFLPA has refused to agree to such a test.
The NFL should limit the drug policy to those things that do improve performance. Special allowance should be given to those players that are injured and under a doctor’s care. The league claims it is interested in the long term well being of the players. It also claims that it wants to make the game more enjoyable for the fans. The players need the best care they can get. Many old players are suffering from injuries beyond concussions incurred during their careers. And the fans want to see their favorite team with as healthy a roster as is possible.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.
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The NFL must revisit its drug policy. by Bill Smith