Cincinnati Bengal Odell Thurman and Tampa Bay Buccaneer Torrie Cox filed discrimination claims yesterday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that their suspensions due to substance abuse should be overturned in light of their alcoholism.
Odell, if you recall, was so intoxicated last September that he was given a SuperDuperJesusHowAreYouStillAlive DUI for blowing a .17, more than twice the legal limit in Ohio. Cox's DUI's date back to 2004 and 2005, and the specifics of his substance abuse violation were not disclosed other than to say they were not steroid or drug related. Both players appealed their suspensions with the league, which Goodell denied without citing any reasons or "facts".
This is yet another instance of the NFL being damned if they do, damned if they don't. Goodell has made it readily apparent that he is not going to put up with any sort of off field nonsense and is not going to let the league be accused of coddling players that find themselves in trouble. The flip side being that if these players are truly alcoholics, then they should be allowed to complete treatment and not fear for their livelihoods. (Aren't there tests or meetings or some sort of Lindsay Lohan scale that can be used?) I have been a tough critic of Goodell this off season, and by keeping his silence on the real reasons behind Cox's suspension he's made it a lot harder to defend what must have been a tough decision.
Cox, Thurman: NFL discriminated - Orlando Sentinel