Sunday, July 06, 2014

Kravitz Talks Double Standards For Irsay And Players

Indianapolis Star sports columnist Bob Kravitz has a spot-on column today discussing the double standards for Colts owner Jim Irsay and the players when it comes to dealing with drug issues after Lavon Brazill was placed on a one-year suspension after he tested positive for drugs after testing positive before on multiple occasions.
Jim Irsay put Ryan Grigson and the Indianapolis Colts in an impossible position.
Here was the looming question after Irsay’s arrest a few months back: How would the team deal with a player who tested positive for party drugs or was arrested for possession of those same drugs?
Now, Exhibit A, LaVon Brazill.
How do you welcome back Irsay with open arms, surround him with support and love and good feelings, and reduce Brazill to some moron who just doesn’t have the self-control to lay off the weed?
Double standard anybody?
Irsay has been addicted to alcohol and drugs for long stretches of his life, but when he was arrested in the spring, the community (and myself) gathered around him and largely supported him. We said he was a sick man. We said he needed to go to rehab. We said he was an otherwise fine, big-hearted man who had many of the same demons that diminished his father. Get well, Jim, we said.
Now comes Brazill, and here’s the response. He’s a moron. He’s a knucklehead. He’s a dummy. Cut him. Cut him now. (I wonder what the response would have been if he was something other than a marginal player who would have had to fight for a spot on the 53-man roster?) . . .
Kravitz then goes on to compare marijuana use to tobacco and alcohol, which he views as being far more destructive. He suggests the NFL should stop testing for marijuana. Maybe he's right, although I still don't understand why professional athletes abuse their bodies with alcohol, tobacco or drugs given the importance of being in the best of physical shape for the sake of their careers. Perhaps the NFL should start testing more for pain drugs given to players to mask the seriousness of their injuries, an unseemly practice that puts the NFL owners' interests ahead of the physical well-being of their players.

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