Sound Off: NFL, Marijuana, & Suspensions

Football season is right around the corner. Preseason starts with the Hall of Fame Game on August 7th and the first official game of the season starts September 8th. I’m beyond excited and ready to see my squad, The PITTSBURGH STEELERS, make their way to the Super Bowl. Last year, we were close, but injuries got in the way. Just when I thought we were healthy, we have two key players that get suspended for substance abuse violations.

Martavis Bryant, #10 on the Steelers, and one of the top receivers in the NFL has been suspended for the entire 2016-2017 season. I mean with Le’Veon (who I’ll get to in a minute) coming back from his season ending knee injury, the SQUAD was back in full force on offense. We have Big Ben, Markus Wheaton, Bryant, Bell, and Mr. Boomin himself, Antonio Brown. Hell, we even have amazing backups for Le’Veon to not tire him out with DeAngelo Williams & Fitzgerald Toussaint. I mean, the hopes were high. Now we’re down two key players because of what?

So, long story short, Martavis Bryant failed multiple drug tests and weed was found in his system. As a result, he was booted for the entire season. To be terminated for a season means he clearly didn’t take heed to the warnings and previous suspensions.

Then we have “Mr. Studio,” Le’Veon Bell. He’s a former Michigan State Spartan, and a real threat in the NFL as a running back. Now he didn’t “fail” the drug tests per say, he just “missed” them. I guess that mixtape he was working on during his “off” season really meant more that his CAREER! Really? You were previously suspended for two games for violating the policy, now here you are again, violating the policy, and facing a 4 game suspension. That 4 game suspension could lead to 6-10. He hasn’t even reached his full potential let alone play a full season due to a combination of suspension and his injuries.

The problem with NFL players is the carelessness that they have. I guess they feel exempt to rules. They demand all this money yet they can’t follow protocol. Are you really worth $13 million a season? Not only are your teammates depending on you to reach the ultimate goal, a SUPER BOWL TROPHY, you have a rally of fans. I mean, STEELERS FANS are the best out there. Disclaimer: DIE HARD FAN HERE!

The problem lies not only on the Steelers, this substance abuse violation goes across the entire league. I mean players are being suspended left and right for 4 games and that doesn’t include fines. Now the Steelers aren’t the only team being hit by suspensions. There’s suspensions across the league. I wonder if these players are like sitting around listening to Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa’s, ‘Young, Wild, and Free,’ and losing their damn minds. Whatever it is that that they’re taking, is it worth it? Is it worth just throwing away any part of the season when every single game is crucial?

I just don’t understand how they continuously throw it all away and for what? To impress? To have “fun?” Is it about an “image?” They work so hard to get into the NFL, an opportunity that not everyone gets, yet they jeopardize fulfilling their talents by smoking. 9/10, the failed tests are from weed. You’re an athlete. Drug tests come with the territory. Yes, people make mistakes, and that’s when warnings come in. To be suspended continuously for the same thing shows the carelessness and stupidity.

Maybe they have the wrong people around them. More and likely that’s the case. You can’t take everyone to the top with you. Most are sitting there seeing what they can get out of you until you’re on your ass. You look around and your so called “friends” are gone. Maybe they just need someone to step in and take control. They have a platform where people are looking at them, up to them, hating on them, whatever the case may be. When you’re good, damn near great, at what you’re doing, it’s to be expected. This is not high school or college. This is a professional level and repercussions as such are to be expected.

The NFL has every right to fine and suspend any player on any team that violates protocol. As a fan we may not agree with every single fine or suspension that’s handed out. I sure know the players don’t always agree. When it comes to substance abuse, there has to be something done. There should be nothing less than strict protocol.

Unfortunately for the Steelers we’ve lost Bryant and hopefully all Le’Veon gets is 4 games, BUT their stupidity put them in this situation. All the bashing they’ll get is on them. Hopefully they’ll get it together and get back to business.

Let’s keep the conversation going. Comment below your thoughts on athletes disobeying protocol. Want more real talk? Click HERE for the Sound Off series.

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