Assaulting your fiancee is a-okay with the NFL, but smoking weed is a huge no-no.
Following the arrest of Ray Rice Thursday for assaulting his fiancee in February, the NFL issued a very harsh punishment: A two game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. For the record, Rice allegedly hit Janay Palmer (now his wife) with enough force to make her lose consciousness, and then was caught by security cameras dragging her out of an elevator in Atlantic City.
The aggravated assault charges were dropped against him (allegedly, Palmer assaulted Rice, too; that’s going to be a successful and long-lived marriage), and the two later held a bizarre joint press conference that addressed the whole incident.
As Mother Jones reports, though, many are still throwing flags on the play. While the league supposedly goes the distance to project a family-friendly, squeaky-clean reputation, the folks decrying the punishment handed down to Rice Thursday as “too soft” point towards six other players who received harsher punishments than Rice, for the grave immoral sin of smoking weed:
- Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns: As a repeat offender (he tested positive for marijuana earlier in 2014), Gordon’s second positive test led to him being suspended for the entire 2014 season. (The NFL will usually suspend first-time offenders for four games, while second-time offenders can get a year and multiple offenders can get banned for life.)
- Daryl Washington, Arizona Cardinals: Suspended for the 2014 season after testing positive for marijuana.
- Von Miller, Denver Broncos: Suspended for four games in 2013 after testing positive for marijuana, which is legal in the Broncos’ home state of Colorado.
- Walter Thurmond, Seattle Seahawks: Suspended for four games in 2013 after testing positive for “substance abuse” (NFL’s term), with the substance in question likely marijuana—also legal in the state of Washington.
- Brandon Browner, New England Patriots: Suspended for all of 2013 and for four games in 2014 for testing positive for marijuana, and was threatened with a lifetime ban.
- Will Hill, New York Giants: Suspended for six games for 2014, and suspended for four games in 2013 after testing positive for “substance abuse” (again, almost certainly marijuana).
Despite the numerous calls for the NFL to slacken its marijuana punishments, the conservative league isn’t likely to make any sort of meaningful move anytime soon.
Really though, I don’t remember any ads starring presidents, and crappy, trippy versions of popular 80’s cartoons warning kids about the dangers of spousal abuse, do you? Priorities, folks, priorities. We can’t let the dangers of weed undermine our society; NFL athletes are role models! It’s job of women to avoid being abused, and the job of society to clean up the vermin-infested dystopian wastelands marijuana creates.
And the NFL knows that, thus explaining their current PR disaster.
h/t Mother Jones