Shannon Sharpe was a guest co-host on this morning's episode of First Take and he had some weird things to say about Josh Gordon's year-long suspension from the NFL.
Things start out relatively OK, but then the vein on Sharpe's temple starts pulsating and he careens out of the realm of "political correctness" and into a place where he can loudly proclaim that Josh Gordon is just as bad off as a person who is addicted to heroin or meth. "When we call people junkies we think of meth, heroin, cocaine. Josh Gordon is a marijuana junkie. Simple."
Josh Gordon is clearly very fond of smoking weed; the fact that he's also been busted for DUI means that he very likely has a substance abuse problem. Even assuming he does, though, there are grades and degrees, and it is stupid as all hell to draw a line between his problems and those of someone who just can't take the needle out of his arm. Weed, even when it serves as a crutch, is an essentially harmless drug, legal in two states and decriminalized in our nation's largest cities. It's the drug of choice for New York Times columnists, for Christ's sake.
Josh Gordon is not missing a year of football because anyone thinks he needs a year off from his job to take care of what may be dependency issues, and he's certainly not doing so because smoking weed turned him into a shell of a human, stumbling around the street in the early morning hours begging for change so he can get his next fix. Josh Gordon is missing a year of football because the NFL and NFLPA still treat weed as a Scary, Scary Drug and negotiated a CBA that reflects this viewpoint, even though the very thing for which he was suspended will likely be legal all across the country within a matter of years.