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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The NFL's Policy On Punishing Weed Smokers Is Arbitrary And Retrograde

Illustration for article titled The NFLs Policy On Punishing Weed Smokers Is Arbitrary And Retrograde

Congratulations to Oday Aboushi on his one-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substances of abuse policy. Police arrested the Jets offensive lineman in January and charged him with driving while suspended, careless driving, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance after they found “a small amount” of weed in his car. This would usually be a good opportunity to rag on the Jets, but this punishment seems like bullshit.


The Morris Plains Police Department’s statement on the arrest lists all the charges, but’s Dom Cosentino spoke with Aboushi’s representatives, and they said that Aboushi accepted the traffic violation, and had all other charges dismissed. Aboushi also didn’t fail an NFL drug test. So, the league banned him one game for something actual law enforcement didn’t feel was important enough to press.


For context, running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount got caught last August in a similar situation. Both were charged with possession of marijuana, and Bell was also charged with driving under the influence. Bell, who received probation and had to do a court program, received a three-game ban that was appealed to two; Blount, who had his charge dismissed with the condition of community service, got a one-game suspension. These are not worthy of suspensions in the first place. To repeat that worn-out trope, Ray Rice originally got two games for assaulting his fiancée.

The absence of a backup offensive lineman probably isn’t going to make much of a difference to the Jets, but it’s another example of the NFL just doing whatever the fuck it wants—Cosentino notes that discipline in cases like these “remain[s] at the discretion of the Commissioner.” Or, maybe Roger Goodell discovered our punishment generator. If there are any NFL employees reading this, please let us know if Goodell’s using our creation to issue suspensions. We guarantee anonymity.

Photo: AP

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