Josh Gordon was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft. Since being drafted, Gordon’s promising career has been sidelined with multiple suspensions. In 2013, Gordon was suspended two games without pay for violating the substance abuse policy. In the same year he had 87 catches, 1646 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Before he could fully relish in his success, the NFL announced Gordon was facing a yearlong suspension for his second violation of the substance abuse policy. He played in only five games in the 2014 season before serving a yearlong suspension for violating the same policy. His recent application for reinstatement was denied; however, he can reapply in August.
Johnny Manziel has made numerous headlines since being drafted in 2014, also by the Cleveland Browns. Pictures of Manziel partying and drinking have flooded our timelines and news feeds. In January 2015, Manziel entered rehab at the Caron Treatment Center. Since that time, Johnny Manziel has had a string of incidents which include getting dropped by his agent Erik Burkhardt, an indictment on a misdemeanor assault charge against his ex-girlfriend, being dropped by Nike; as well as, by agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Martavis Bryant, drafted in 2014 by the Pittsburgh Steelers, began his 2015 season with a four game suspension due to multiple violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Fast forward to 2016 and he has been handed a minimum one year suspension for violating the policy again. Bryant’s agent Brian Fettner told USA Today Sports,
“We’re all stunned, me included. We clearly miscalculated the issue. His isn’t a party issue. It’s a coping issue and a depression issue, and he’s got to take care of it.”
Bryant has plans to check into rehab and undergo evaluation for depression.
Is there an issue much deeper than an athlete just wanting a momentary high or it is just that? Men too selfish to put aside a ‘habit’ for the good of their team, fans, family and most importantly themselves? Professional athletes have an opportunity to earn more money in one year than the average American will earn in a lifetime, so why through it all away for temporary gratification.