Ex-NFL linebacker, Scott Fujita has always been a vocal player, and he recently gave his opinion about the disparity in which players are punished. He spoke to Jim Rome on Wednesday, comparing the league’s handling of player’s DUI cases to their domestic violence cases. More specifically, the case of Baltimore Ravens running back, Ray Rice.
“In the NFL, I don’t think they take domestic abuse against women seriously enough — I want to see Commissioner (Roger) Goodell come down fierce on this one. And also driving under the influence. We don’t take that issue seriously enough. Those are two issues now, and that’s where the commissioner has to do the right thing on these things,” said Fujita, who has three daughters.
“The Ray Rice thing, (expletive) are you kidding me? And I had respect for that guy. I mean, (expletive) that guy. Are you kidding me?”
Fujita then went on to question the imbalance of perception in the situations of Colts owner, Jim Irsay and Cleveland Browns receiver, Josh Gordon:
“They’re not getting the same sort of benefit of the doubt that someone like owner Irsay is getting,” Fujita said of Washington and Gordon, a former teammate in Cleveland. “These guys might have a problem that we don’t know about. Why don’t we treat it as such? Should the NFL lighten up a little bit? Yes. But as long as this drug is illegal under federal law, I don’t know how they can change it. … The problem is, is that a lot of guys are using this now to self-medicate and also recreationally. I’ve never seen (marijuana) be a problem,” added Fujita, who witnessed teammates using it before games. “For me, it’s just not that big of a deal. We’ve got to get past that point where there’s a negative stigma around this.”
Fujita does make a valid point in all of this. The NFL does tend to punish more harshly for cases of substance abuse violations, than for cases of domestic violence. Arizona Cardinals linebacker, Daryl Washington has been suspended for the entire 2015 season for smoking marijuana and Gordon may be in line for a similar fate, according to ESPN.
[H/T USA Today]