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In the eyes of the National Football League, it’s far worse for their players to smoke a joint to relax than to get drunk and beat or assault women, including their own wives.
Ray Rice, who beat his (then not-yet) wife so badly she lost consciousness, was only suspended for two games and is already back to making offensive amounts of money. The NFL has been staunchly ignoring the critics who are calling for a boycott of all NFL products.
Since the announcement of the pathetic two game suspension, folks working for the NFL have compounded the issue by making statements about how women should work to avoid being abused or beaten. Meanwhile, players caught with cannabis or testing positive for it are facing significantly longer suspensions and more serious penalties.
Just this year, Josh Gordon with the Cleveland Browns received a ban for the entire season of 2014, despite the fact that Ohio has decriminalized cannabis. Similarly, Von Miller and Walter Thurmond, both of whom live in legal cannabis states, were both suspended for twice as many games as Rice for cannabis.
Beating women or intimate partners, abusing other sexually, and using one’s physicality as a weapon should be a very serious crime for men paid ridiculous amounts of money to grow massive muscles. If the people playing professional sports can’t comport themselves properly, they don’t deserve to make the big paychecks.
There is a petition going around asking the NFL to take these crimes more seriously, especially when comparing punishments to consensual, victimless crimes like cannabis use. Currently, a majority of NFL teams harbor players who have been charged with either domestic abuse or sexual assault. This is simply unacceptable. The NFL and its players are not above the law, and people can not turn a blind eye while still forking over their cash to this organization without implicitly supporting discrimination against cannabis users and the abuse of women.
Tell the NFL to clean up their act and adjust their perception of crimes! To add your name to the petition on Change.org, click here! At the time of posting, it was closing in on 78,000 signatures.
Photo Credit: hyku under (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr