In theory, the recent DWI arrest of Browns receiver Josh Gordon won’t impact his pending one-year suspension for his latest violation of the substance-abuse policy. But with the Commissioner or his designee handling the appeal of the proposed suspension, knowing that Gordon has been popped for DWI likely won’t result in any discretion being exercised in his favor at the appeal hearing set for late July.
The substance-abuse policy establishes a separate track for violations of the law relating to alcohol. Since Gordon has no prior DWI offenses, he may not be suspended; however, past suspensions for misconduct under the substance-abuse policy could expose him to suspension for a first DWI offense.
Speaking of first-offense DWIs, Colts owner Jim Irsay’s recent comments regarding alcoholism and addiction resonate with respect to players like Gordon and Colts receiver LaVon Brazill, who potentially are struggling with alcoholism and/or addiction issues. Brazill has been and Gordon possibly will be ejected from the league for a year due to a series of failed drug tests. Unless and until Irsay is subject to the same rigorous procedures, which expose players to up to 10 tests per month, a double standard will exists.
For Gordon, the double standard has become a double whammy, with a one-year suspension possibly resulting from marijuana issues and another suspension possibly resulting from his DWI arrest.