On Monday we learned that Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon had once again violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy and is facing another suspension from the league. Gordon had previously been suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season as well as the first 10 games of 2014. TNT analyst Charles Barkley joined ESPN later on Monday and shared his grim thoughts on where this is all heading.
“This is very personal to me. My brother is dead. He died in his early 40s, so I take all drug stuff seriously. And Josh Gordon is going to die if he keeps going on this road he’s going.”
Barkley’s brother Daryl died from substance abuse when he was only 42, so any time the issue of drugs and alcohol comes up in sports it hits close to home to the former NBA star. ESPN host Michael Smith then asked Barkley if Gordon’s latest violation could be considered a cry for help.
“No, he’s been crying for help. This is like the third time, he was ….suspended for a year before and it got reduced. He got suspended in college. It started in college and it’s just not a matter of ‘if,’ it’s a matter of ‘when.’ Something bad is going to happen…If last year didn’t shake him up, he’s not going to learn. And like I say, I have sympathy for people that have drug and alcohol problems. But man, it’s going to end badly. These movies always end the same way. If you’ve got a family member who’s dealing with alcohol and drug problems, most of the time the movie ends the same; badly.”
Gordon caught 24 passes for 303 yards in only five games this season. If suspended indefinitely, Gordon would be eligible for reinstatement following the 2015 season. However, that would be at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s discretion, and of course he would have to remain sober all year.