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League seems to be trying to entice players to yield on HGH impasse

marijuana-justi-sullivan-getty Getty Images

It’s been known for months that, if/when the NFL and NFLPA work out an agreement for HGH testing, the NFL and NFLPA will finalize new policies regarding substance abuse and performance enhancing drugs.

It’s now known that the new policies will include reduced discipline for marijuana violations and higher thresholds of concentration of the drug before a violation occurs.

Given that Commissioner Roger Goodell made a public push last week to finalize HGH testing, it’s not a stretch to believe that the source who leaked this new information about marijuana testing and discipline to ESPN.com wants the players to know that, if they merely agree to let Commissioner Goodell handle appeals of violations of the performance-enhancing drug policy that arise from something other than a positive test, marijuana will suddenly become less of a problem for players.

And if enough players figure this out and begin pushing the NFLPA to take that deal, the impasse regarding HGH testing may finally be broken.

It’s the right idea by the NFL, but it doesn’t go far enough.  Why not simply abandon marijuana testing, and punish only those players who are arrested and convicted of a marijuana-related violation?  It’s not a performance-enhancing substance (otherwise, it would fall under the steroids policy).  Why does the NFL continue to feel compelled to regulate what a player does on his own time away from work — and why does the NFLPA continue to let it happen?

Maybe the NFL wants HGH testing badly enough to drop the general ban on marijuana.  Because marijuana use does nothing to undermine the integrity of the game but HGH does, it should be a no-brainer.

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55 Responses to “League seems to be trying to entice players to yield on HGH impasse”
  1. gerard33 says: May 13, 2014 11:08 PM

    “Why does the NFL continue to feel compelled to regulate what a player does on his own time away from work — and why does the NFLPA continue to let it happen?”

    Great question. Probably just due to the now-outdated mentality about cannabis.

  2. kerzondax says: May 13, 2014 11:09 PM

    Good. Just let the marijuana go.

  3. minnesotablizzard says: May 13, 2014 11:15 PM

    Legalize it. Why are we letting propaganda from the early 1900′s have so much effect on our present day lives? Oh yeah, we run on the momentum from the past, the thing is though, those people didn’t have the internet and were easy to manipulate a la William Randolph Hearst’s anti marijuana propaganda. Before him it was known by the Latin name Cannabis and widely used.

  4. ottawabrave91 says: May 13, 2014 11:16 PM

    I respectfully disagree on a basic fundamental level. there should be no such thing as drug testing. for any American for any reason. Its technically unconstitutional to drug test. where in the constitution does it say that the government/ law enforcement/ employers have the right to tell someone what they can or cannot have in their body?

  5. luigiboy12 says: May 13, 2014 11:24 PM

    Goodell wants to pass the ‘peace pipe’?

  6. thestrategyexpert says: May 13, 2014 11:24 PM

    They don’t want to give up any leverage for no reason. They feel they can get the players to agree to HGH testing anyhow, and maybe they ease up on marijuana issues during the next CBA agreement as a bargaining chip to help close the negotiating gap. We here at the NFL are going to be watching your every move in life to see if you sniff any pot vapors, however for the right price…. we could care less.

  7. brewmyowngrowmyown74 says: May 13, 2014 11:27 PM

    So, the NFL will test and possibly ban players for smoking weed (not performance-enhancing), but they don’t test for HGH (obviously performance-enhancing)? ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. Get with it.

  8. Lord Oswald Bupkis III says: May 13, 2014 11:34 PM

    The players will be very amenable when they hear about reduced discipline for marijuana violations; however, why is the league pushing HGH restriction so hard? There is no scientific link to performance enhancement. There is no evidence at all that HGH increases strength. More than anything, it is helpful is rehabilitation of muscle injuries. Wait, is that a bad thing? I prompt anyone to look into the many studies done on HGH and its relation to athletics.

  9. pfu2 says: May 13, 2014 11:39 PM

    Free Josh Gordon! Let’s watch the young superstar who led the league in yards continue to blossom rather than be buried in BS!

  10. tanstewie says: May 13, 2014 11:44 PM

    If the nflpa agrees to hgh testing in exchange for “reduced marijuana levels” they should all be fired. If im the nflpa I say u wanna start testing for hgh for the first time ok, weed is no longer a banned substance..period. but they won’t do that they’ll trade stricter drug laws for next to nothing. The baseball n basketball unions look at the nflpa and laughs! Terrible representation for their members. Quid pro quo DeMaurice Smith, google it and stop giving goodell everything for nothing

  11. richc111 says: May 13, 2014 11:50 PM

    I agree that they shouldn’t even test for MJ but the reality is that it is illegal and there are millions of people who work every day that get tested, and it ain’t a performance enhancing drug for them either. I will tell you if they stop testing for it, how many guys do you think will be stoned during practice. Not a lot but I am sure 5-10% would be.

  12. smithdp says: May 13, 2014 11:51 PM

    The players and the league need to get over their control issues and make HGH testing happen for the integrity of the NFL.

  13. bennyb82 says: May 13, 2014 11:51 PM

    If you don’t make the playoffs, no HGH testing for the next season. If you make the playoffs no marijuana testing for the next year.

  14. ytownjoe says: May 14, 2014 12:13 AM

    Will Josh Gordon’s prayers be answered?

  15. donnymacjack says: May 14, 2014 12:14 AM

    Agreed!

  16. detectivejimmymcnulty says: May 14, 2014 12:17 AM

    “Why not simply abandon marijuana testing, and punish only those players who are arrested and convicted of a marijuana-related violation? ”

    One of your best ideas you’ve had.

  17. bobleblah says: May 14, 2014 12:19 AM

    The dam is breaking…

  18. chicagobtech says: May 14, 2014 12:24 AM

    “Why does the NFL continue to feel compelled to regulate what a player does on his own time away from work — and why does the NFLPA continue to let it happen?”

    Like it or not, marijuana is still a Schedule I controlled substance. The League and the Union probably don’t want to run up against the Feds, given that the Feds control the anti-trust exception that makes the League and the Union their money.

  19. seahawksbmx says: May 14, 2014 12:44 AM

    Why not simply abandon marijuana testing, and punish only those players who are arrested and convicted of a marijuana-related violation?
    ——-
    I like it. If the NFL adopts this prudent policy, the rest of you best get with the times and legalize the chronic, or get used to Seahawk/Bronco Super Bowls.

  20. gomybirdsgo says: May 14, 2014 12:49 AM

    Agreed

  21. skoobyfl says: May 14, 2014 12:50 AM

    It’ll be legal everywhere within 10 years.

  22. allidoiswin55 says: May 14, 2014 12:50 AM

    80% percent of nfl smoke weed . Live with it people get off your high horses . Yes it’s illegal but extremely prevalent.. People also complain about suspension (Gordon ) not realizing it take 3 separate failed drug tests to even be suspend . This is how so many dumb fans throw stones about being above reproach when their team is marginally different in reality .

    I agree it should be less of a penalty and suspension . I also think HGH is good for football helps players recover from knee surgery in a matter of months ( cough AD) . Which is ultimately GREAT FOR FOOTBALL WHEN STARS PLAY .

  23. billybone says: May 14, 2014 12:57 AM

    If weed works to hinder the pain these players deal with rather than utilizing big corporate, big money, opiate dependency that pills are now being used for then that would be the wise choice. Unfortunately money controls the almighty so smoking weed is prohibited but popping synthetic heroin is accepted. SMH

  24. ptfpoetlovestheseahawks says: May 14, 2014 1:08 AM

    Seems legit. At least someone has their head screwed on straight. Show me one player that has an edge on game play because of smoking weed. I’ll wait….

  25. icanhazblogs says: May 14, 2014 1:08 AM

    Could standard drug testing across MLB, NBA and the NFL ever work?

  26. bearclaw69 says: May 14, 2014 1:11 AM

    Perhaps it might be because marijuana is ILLEGAL???

  27. kev3west says: May 14, 2014 1:16 AM

    If they cede on arbitration, they’re high.

  28. nicofthenorthstar says: May 14, 2014 1:42 AM

    THANK YOU!!! Finally, someone with some sense!

  29. pftking says: May 14, 2014 2:16 AM

    SEATTLE IS SCREWED!!! LOL!!!

  30. brownsmakemecrazy says: May 14, 2014 2:27 AM

    Totally Agree Florio. Hope Josh Gordon gets spared a suspension becuz of it. But not sure if the current policy would apply to him or if the new policy would take effect for him

  31. thehawg says: May 14, 2014 2:30 AM

    Shouldn’t even test for weed. Adderall is the game changer.

  32. jshawaii22 says: May 14, 2014 3:12 AM

    well there goes the Seahawks and Broncos chances to win again!

    js

  33. pizzasaurus says: May 14, 2014 3:42 AM

    Why does the NFL continue to feel compelled to regulate what a player does on his own time away from work — and why does the NFLPA continue to let it happen?

    Good question, and one that the Miami player suspended for voicing his opinions on social matters during his off-time should be considering. As for marijuana use, perhaps the NFL might like to try letting law enforcement handle possible violations of the law and stick to football? If a player’s performance is negatively impacted by marijuana usage or any other reason, his team can decide whether he’s worth keeping or not.

  34. sdelmonte says: May 14, 2014 4:29 AM

    They don’t drop the ban on pot because it’s still illegal in most places. The outcry from the anti-pot side of the debate would be huge.

  35. barneyrumble says: May 14, 2014 5:49 AM

    “Why does the NFL continue to feel compelled to regulate what a player does on his own time away from work — and why does the NFLPA continue to let it happen?”

    Maybe because it is illegal in all but two states and more importantly under federal law? Just a guess.

  36. oneandonlyramsfaninpa says: May 14, 2014 6:44 AM

    NFL and it’s teams are employers. employers often test employees for drugs. it’s not just the NFL, I got a random test at my work place. The players already have it easier than most, if I would fail a drug test I would be fired, not a month or two suspension.

  37. gron4u says: May 14, 2014 7:31 AM

    I believe the NFL has relaxed its scrutiny of PED’s for certain players. It has allowed certain star players to advance into their later years on top of their game. It helps to popularize the league and it quiets any speculation .Marijuana is a non issue. It is finally becoming legal and de-criminalized in so many places, it is a moot point to suspend anybody for using it.

  38. wishingtonredslur says: May 14, 2014 7:50 AM

    I think you should start testing for cybernetics and genome designing.

  39. sambaughslingers says: May 14, 2014 8:03 AM

    Times are a changing. It will be legal nationwide in the next 10-15 years. Doesn’t help a football player at all, so no issue. That said it does reveal how much of an idiot certain players could be…. looking at you Josh Gordon.

  40. mavajo says: May 14, 2014 8:13 AM

    “Why does the NFL continue to feel compelled to regulate what a player does on his own time away from work”

    Uhm…because virtually every other employer in America tests for it too?

    Frankly, I think it should just be legalized. So I’m not a teetotaler here. I just don’t understand why you find it so surprising that the NFL tests for it. It may not necessarily be with the same regularity, but every employer in the country tests for marijuana at some point – even if it’s just during the hiring process. So this isn’t an NFL thing – this is an employer thing.

  41. mackie66 says: May 14, 2014 9:27 AM

    So,,,why should the players trust Goodell?

  42. mancave001 says: May 14, 2014 10:16 AM

    minnesotablizzard says:
    May 13, 2014 11:15 PM
    Legalize it. Why are we letting propaganda from the early 1900′s have so much effect on our present day lives? Oh yeah, we run on the momentum from the past, the thing is though, those people didn’t have the internet and were easy to manipulate a la William Randolph Hearst’s anti marijuana propaganda. Before him it was known by the Latin name Cannabis and widely used.
    —————————————-

    I tend to agree in principle. However, I think broad legalization is having and will have negative impacts. Marijuana can be relatively safe and even beneficial. But like many substances, it can be abused and can cause a lot of harm. It really can be a gateway drug. People who smoke constantly seem to have no ambition. Long-term side effects are paranoia, loss of libido, reduction in reasoning ability, etc. Should that make it illegal? Probably not. But what seems to go along with legalization is a “weed is good” sort of movement. That is a concern.

    As for the NFL, I agree they should not test for it or discipline a player unless he’s in trouble with the law or has some drug related incident.

  43. willycents says: May 14, 2014 10:17 AM

    Most companies I am familiar with drug test at hiring, randomly during the year, and after EVERY workplace accident/incident. Drugs or alcohol in the blood result in rejection of any workmans comp claim and termination from the job.

  44. 3yardsndust says: May 14, 2014 10:22 AM

    Marijuana will be legal in this country eventually, and anyone with an ounce of sense in their heads knows it doesn’t improve athletic performance. So why test for it at all? We want to see the players play football, and we don’t care what they do when they are relaxing in their own homes.

    This is an opportunity for the NFL to show some leadership. I hope they have a courage to do so.

  45. butlers91 says: May 14, 2014 10:24 AM

    Its technically unconstitutional to drug test. where in the constitution does it say that the government/ law enforcement/ employers have the right to tell someone what they can or cannot have in their body?
    =======
    Our Constitution doesn’t give provisions for or against drug testing. Therefore it is not unconstitutional. There are lots of laws/rules that are not within the scope of the Constitution.

    …and yes, just legalize it. This is all silly.

  46. nickster31 says: May 14, 2014 10:33 AM

    I live in Florida, (in the district of coke snorting Congressman Trey Radel), and medicinal marijuana is on the ballot for November.

    Polls are showing 88% of voters are in favor of the bill passing. Another 53% said they would vote to legalize like Colorado and Seattle.

    About time we all start to wake up!

  47. atthemurph says: May 14, 2014 10:52 AM

    “Why does the NFL continue to feel compelled to regulate what a player does on his own time away from work — and why does the NFLPA continue to let it happen?”

    Because the NFL is in the entertainment business and the appearance of the league is closely guarded and it should be. They don’t want players getting busted and charges with drug offenses. That looks bad and that’s the only reason they care.

    The HGH deal to me is more about liability of the league because I can foresee the lawsuit in 20 years by players with bad knees, concussions, broken parts claiming the bigger faster players were more dangerous and the league should have known but did nothing so they are liable.

    That the union is fighting it allows the NFL the defense that it is the players themselves who are liable because they fought against the testing knowing that many players are artificially bigger and faster and stronger so they accepted the risks and did nothing.

  48. tremoluxman says: May 14, 2014 11:15 AM

    The players union isn’t against HGH testing. They are against having Goodell ruling on appeals for violations. The players union wants an independent arbitrator to rule on appeals. Goodell wants to hold all the power in the situation. That’s the issue.

  49. buddysguys says: May 14, 2014 12:26 PM

    everybody smokes weed

  50. Matt dog from C-town says: May 14, 2014 12:41 PM

    get with it NFL!!!! weed is no worse then alcohol!! they should be dealt with in the same manner….you get arrested for bad behavior then you should go down….

  51. justintuckrule says: May 14, 2014 1:36 PM

    Free Josh Gordan AND Will Hill. Hill takes it to calm his mind, relax and possibly stop himself from being the next Jevon Belcher. What a crapstorm that would rain down on the NFL if that ever were to happen.

  52. allidoiswin55 says: May 14, 2014 2:23 PM

    If your stupid enough to fail 3 + drug tests by your employer at three separate occasions you qualify as special needs and should definitely not be allowed to play professional football. In part bc you are a walking liability and Clearly you are completely stupid to take such risks .

    I think marijuana should be legal I live in Seattle same laws and Colorado stores opening soon . However if their are rules against it DO NOT DO IT . It’s still a choice not a privilege . I don’t care about occasionally smoking and I know quite a few players on various teams . It’s being and habitual offender that you can not excuse . It’s not easy failing 3 seperate drug tests just aren’t all back to back in a close period of time .

    Stop perpetuation ignorance , Gordon just like every other player should be suspended bc it happened multiple times . In Gordon’s case he must have failed 4 or 5 drug tests to get that Long of a suspension so STOP MAKING EXCUSES bc he’s a star . That dude is a liability to football and the NFL.

  53. jchuber says: May 14, 2014 5:22 PM

    If the NFL is successful in implementing their draconian HGH testing, I must apply to ALL NFL employees: including the idiot commissioner and his cronies, team owners and their staffs, coaches and their staffs, as well as the players.

    They need to end the double standards that apply to players only.

  54. snoqualmkanem says: May 14, 2014 9:00 PM

    “I respectfully disagree on a basic fundamental level. there should be no such thing as drug testing. for any American for any reason. Its technically unconstitutional to drug test. where in the constitution does it say that the government/ law enforcement/ employers have the right to tell someone what they can or cannot have in their body?”

    Not a constitutional issue. You can refuse the drug testing.
    Good luck getting/keeping a job if you choose that path.
    I personally have no issues with it becoming legal.
    You should expect that even if it is legalized that companies will have rules against it at work. Same thing with alcohol.
    Drink all you want but if you show up to work impaired.. you should expect to be sent home at the minimum.

  55. snoqualmkanem says: May 14, 2014 9:02 PM

    “If the NFL is successful in implementing their draconian HGH testing, I must apply to ALL NFL employees: including the idiot commissioner and his cronies, team owners and their staffs, coaches and their staffs, as well as the players.

    They need to end the double standards that apply to players only.”

    I agree with you in principle.. but the players are Third Party Contractors.

    NFL employees most likely are subject to workplace drug testing.

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