Brown Is the New Orange: Josh Gordon, Pot, Prison and the NFL

by Cleveland Frowns on July 31, 2014

Folks in Cleveland and everywhere are fairly up in arms over the disparity between the NFL’s recent 2-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for having (allegedly) violently battered his wife, and the whopping 16-game suspension that star Browns receiver Josh Gordon is expected to receive pursuant to league policy for having tested positive for marijuana use.

The NFL’s lack of regard for the humanity of females has been pretty well pointed out in this story, and the “hit women, not joints” jokes have been made. But remaining underappreciated in all this is the extent to which the nation’s prison state mirrors that of its National Football League when it comes to a “war on drugs.” Not that it’s much of a surprise to see a multi-billion-dollar corporation violate the public interest by manipulating a set of bad laws, but the NFL’s marijuana policy offers an especially clear example.

dangerous criminal

Plenty of this is absurd on its face. Gordon was able to lead the NFL in receiving in just 14 games last season, breaking three league records and three more franchise records despite his “drug problem,” and despite … Click here to continue reading at Belt Magazine …

  • actovegin1armstrong

    Absolutely amazing stuff, Ray Rice gets a slap on the wrist, well, perhaps a mollycoddled soft rub on the shoulder is more appropriate
    for assault and battery, while Josh Gordon has his entire career in jeopardy for enjoying the Biki Lettuce. The NFL’s Good ol’ Boy regime is way out of whack and it needs to be fixed immediately.
    Perhaps Ricky was right and the Biki Lettuce is like spinach to Popeye. The Seahawks won it all shortly after the state of Washington made the lettuce legal.

    • Cleveland Frowns

      And the other Super Bowl team was from the other state where it’s legal.

    • Believelander

      The NFL tests for weed with an absurd sensitivity – the required levels to pop positive in an NFL test are about 1/10th that of what your employer or mine test for. Also, of 2 separate bottles from the same sample, only one met that threshold – if the other bottle had been tested first, there would have been no verifying test with the ‘dirty’ bottle. Not that it matters that the dirty sample was only marginally above the limit and the ‘verifying’ second bottle was below it by more than the first was above it. Somehow this still constitutes cause. Between the league’s draconian policies towards recreational drug use and domestic violence, I am probably not even going to watch this year.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Well put believe! I wish that I had delved more deeply into the subject. If there is any more damning evidence will all of our Frownie Favorites please provide it to me via email, or on this site? I have, for some inexplicable reason, the respective “ears” of a few well respected talking heads.

  • nj0

    Great piece. Legalese question that Googling couldn’t help me uncover: is there a legal difference between “union” and “player’s association” or is it just a semantic issue? Basically a cooler name.

    • Cleveland Frowns

      Thanks. There’s surely legal differences between every union but yeah, “player’s association” is just what these unions call themselves.

  • Beeej

    I’m just going to put this here. Cleveland has both the best and worst logo for obvious reasons.

  • bupalos

    How did I miss this? Outstanding. Also deserves this link:

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Well, I do feel a little better after watching that, my cell in solitary confinement is 8’x12′! We are talking plush here baby.

  • Keith

    Peter, thanks for addressing this. I’m part of a group in Cleveland working to raise awareness of the problem of our racist justice system, the New Jim Crow, and, particularly, mass incarceration. We’ve already had successful actions and film showings. If any of your local readers are interested in getting involved, the Meetup group webpage might be a good place to start:

  • 6thCity

    Well done, as always. Belt looks interesting, and I was happy to read some other long form pieces. Are you a member over there, frowns, or did they approach you?

  • Nick

    Pete, I believe you are spot on linking the BEER $ with the NFL. And I’m surprised I haven’t seen more people make that point. Aren’t the right to work laws in Ohio pretty strong? This article suggests Josh may have a case despite today’s ruling:

  • beeej

    What are the chances that, 2-4 games into the season, the NFL comes out with an announcement along the lines of, “Due to recent legal and social changes…progressive…Colorado and Washington…medical benefits…not performance enhancing…blah blah blah…The NFL has decided to stop test for marijuana. Recent suspensions will be looked at on a case by case basis…”

    • beeej


Previous post:

Next post: