NFL Suspensions: Is holding players responsible really the answer?


Coming into week three the Saints will have defensive end Will Smith back in their line up after he served a two games suspension for a failed drug test in 2008. That raises a very good question — should players ultimately be held responsible for what they put into their bodies?

I know many of you will read this and think why beat a dead horse.  Well my answer to that is simple, I believe that like many other corporations the NFL should actually be responsible for a test failure if they have given the player the approval to use the substance.

The StarCaps debacle is one that is fairly well known around the league, but what is not as well known is that the league had previously approved StarCaps for use.

Is it not the responsibility of the league to answer player questions about a substance?

If approval for that substance is given and that changes without the players being notified and that player is punished for failing a drug test because of  that substance hasn’t the league withheld valuable  information from the player?

This has an effect on both the league and the player that is being suspended, The courts could not “legally” find anyway to turn over the leagues suspension, and rightfully so it cannot impose its will onto a corporation that has a drug policy like the NFL’s.

Isn’t that along the lines of what Enron  did to their employees though? Although it wasn’t a drug policy they gave employees and investors false information.

There are strict federal regulations to ensure that Corporations are giving factual information not only to the public but to their employees.

I’m no lawyer, but I believe that telling a player they can use a substance and then punishing them for using said substance because it contain a banned diuretic is wrong.

I may be wrong but legally doesn’t that put the ball into the NFL’s court to make sure that when it tells a player it can use a substance that they can actually use it?

If it doesn’t why wasn’t something along the lines of that put into the new CBA?

If the NFL is really trying to crack down on the use of performance enhancing drugs, they should provide players with the services needed to obtain factual information.

If that service is used, and a player fails because a substance they were cleared to use contained something that was banned, that should fall onto their lap not the players.

I think it’s time that the NFL actually backs up what it keeps telling the public.  If you really wanna crack down on use of performance enhancing drugs put a robust program in place.

Give players an outlet to ask questions so that they can ensure their compliance.

Frankly right now the NFL’s policy is like a kid asking a police officer “hey is it ok for me to drive 100 mph down this road” police officer answering “yes” and then writing him a ticket for speeding.

The players are having to pay for their bad decisions, it’s high time the NFL pay for their own as well.