It’s official. The NFL has suspended Browns receiver Josh Gordon for a full year, effective immediately.
The banishment, first proposed more than three months ago and languishing on appeal until today, has been announced by the league.
“Appeals officer Harold Henderson has upheld the suspension for the 2014 NFL season of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse,” the NFL said in a statement. “The suspension is effective immediately. Gordon’s eligibility for reinstatement will be determined following the 2014 season.”
Gordon, whose suspension comes under the substance-abuse policy, likewise has issued a statement acknowledging the situation.
“I’d like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans,” Gordon said. “I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing officer didn’t exercise better discretion and judgment in my case. I would like to sincerely thank the people who have been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging time, including my family, my agent, my union, my legal team, and the Cleveland Browns staff.”
Gordon will need even more support over the next year, since he will be prohibited from receiving any assistance from the NFL or the Browns. It’s a sad situation, with Gordon banished for smoking a substance that is legal in two of the 22 states in which the NFL does business. At a time when he may have an addiction.
At a time when Ray Rice will miss only two games for knocking out his then-fiancée, now wife.