Sheesh talk about responding swiftly to criticism. Not even a full 24 hours since the NFL upheld its one year ban on Josh Gordon for a third violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, the league shifted its focus towards domestic violence. The league was catching a decent amount of heat for giving Gordon a full year ban for weed, but Ray Rice a two game ban for chin-checking his fiancée at a casino in Atlantic City over the summer.
Well Roger Goodell moved quickly to cease the critics as he rolled out a no tolerance law on domestic abuse yesterday. From here on out players in a Ray Rice situation will receive a six game suspension on their first domestic violence violation and a LIFETIME ban for their second. That’s no tolerance. There is no question that the league is doing the right thing, but the punishments may be cautiously appealed by the NFL Players Association.
It would not be because they feel domestic violence is alright, but a lifetime ban is forever. Forever is a mighty longtime if you get ployed into the altercation. As ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith pointed out, what if the woman is the aggressor? You do remember the Evelyn Lozada- Chad Johnson fight? There is no way Lozada didn’t instigate that fight a little bit (type Evelyn Lozada fights on YouTube and enjoy) and that’s what players would most likely address, that small outlier that can happen. They can call it the Ocho Cinco Clause.
All in all I agree with the league’s new punishments and it will undoubtedly quiet the critics, myself included, that were appalled at the differentiation between punishments for marijuana and domestic violence. Go ahead and flex Commissioner Goodell, you earned it this time.