Friday, July 17, 2015

Recreational Drug Use and Professional Athletes

We are getting to the end of this kind of bullshit:

The combine drug test is called an "intelligence test" by teams, because players invited to the combine know months in advance when the test is coming. No one should ever fail it. But a select few seem to every year, and that year [Justin] Houston did.

Sports writers love to talk about team chemistry and respect for the tradition of the game and how a player "plays the right way." That's all bullshit. It is the conservative, tradition-heavy sort of nonsense that holds athletes in the modern context to an impossibly high standard of moral conduct that has never gone away. A sports writer can churn that out in a few hours and go home early when they have nothing to say on a particular day. Moralizing is a way of filling space when there isn't anything to write about.

Who would you rather have on your team? A kid who used pot or a man who beats his wife? Which is worse? Because until recent history intervened, drug use was worse than beating your kids after knocking out your wife if you were a talented NFL player.

In the case of Justin Houston and his $100 million dollar contract, you have to praise his talent, excuse what is becoming a minor and barely noteworthy indiscretion with what should be a legalized drug, and wonder when someone is going to tut-tut their way to the end of an 800 word column full of stereotypes and hidebound traditionalism dressed as original analysis.

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