TooAthletic Takes

Should The NFL Reinstate Josh Gordon?

Reports are the long-time troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon has applied for reinstatement into the National Football League. The 28-year-old has long battled substance abuse issues associated with his social anxiety.  With the NFL still unable and unwilling to stop testing for marijuana use, along with other deeper reasons, the league, for the good of Josh Gordon, should not reinstate him.

Josh Gordon told GQ Magazine in 2017 that he began self-medicating as early as the seventh grade, with his self-prescribed medication being Xanax, Codeine and marijuana.  He said in the interview he took a “whole bar” of Xanax to help “numb those nerves so (he could) just function every day; Gordon’s nerves came from his social awkwardness, anxiety, feelings and inadequacy and “adolescent trauma-based fear.”

While in college, Gordon sold and used marijuana daily and would add vodka to containers of orange juice to drink during classes.  He also consumed codeine syrup mixed with soda and began adding hydrocodone and oxycodone to his Xanax; and before football games he would Mad Dog 20-20 to see if he would play while drunk.  Gordon admitted that while at Baylor University, his coaches helped him cheat drug tests, saying, “I’ve been enabled most of my life honestly.  I’ve been enabled by coaches, teachers, professors — everybody pretty much gave me a second chance just because of my ability.”

With football in his life, Josh Gordon is killing himself slowly and running the risk of doing so all at once.  Without football in his life, Josh Gordon has a chance to move his body and mind into a better place and enjoy a better life long after he no longer needs the NFL in it.

The time has come for Josh Gordon to correctly address his condition under the care of professionals and away from the spotlight football casts upon him that clearly is a trigger for his deep rooted issues.  The National Football League should no longer be an enabler on the long list of those people who have allowed Josh Gordon to avoid getting the help he needs just because he can play football.  There is going to be a time when playing football is no longer available to Josh Gordon, and that time is NOW.  For the sake of the health of Josh Gordon, I implore the National Football League NOT to reinstate him.


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