NFL Star Josh Gordon Gets Suspended Again

By McCarton Ackerman 02/06/15

The merry-go-round continues for the NFL star after yet another substance abuse violation.

Josh Gordon
Wiki Commons

Football star Josh Gordon continues to find himself in hot water over his substance use. The Cleveland Browns receiver has been suspended by the NFL for at least one year due to multiple alcohol-related violations.

Gordon reportedly drank two beers and two other drinks during a private flight with his teammates last month to Las Vegas. He tested positive for THC last March and was suspended that August for the 2014-15 season, but changes to the league’s drug policy meant that his suspension was cut to 10 out of 16 games. However, his reinstatement also called for him to not drink alcohol for the remainder of the season, in addition to undergoing drug and alcohol testing.

"Throughout his career we have tried to assist him in getting support like we would with any member of our organization. Unfortunately, our efforts have not resonated with him,” said Browns' General Manager Ray Farmer. “Our hope is that this suspension affords Josh the opportunity to gain some clarity in determining what he wants to accomplish moving forward and if he wants a career in the National Football League.”

Eight games of his 10-game ban came from a positive marijuana test and two games were for a separate drunk-driving charge. However, he said the positive marijuana test came from inadvertently inhaling second-hand marijuana smoke. Gordon has also steadfastly denied having a drug or alcohol problem.

“I wouldn’t know what I was addicted to because I don’t do anything,” he said in an interview with ESPN The Magazine. "[The media] want to create this monster. Every story about me seems so harsh. He's an addict, a junkie, a cokehead. That's not who you really are." But despite denying a substance abuse problem, he admitted to surrounding himself with people who use marijuana because “everyone I know does it.”

His unwillingness to admit to a drug problem has left some of his associates in the NFL concerned. Hall of Fame receiver and ESPN analyst Cris Carter, who has now been sober for over two decades, even declined a request from Gordon’s camp to serve as a mentor because of his denial. “I don’t believe he’s fully out of the woods. I’m afraid for him,” said Carter. “I’m afraid for his career.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.