While NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell may have taken a break from the NFL Draft on Friday to espouse and reiterate the league’s decades-old position on marijuana in the league, not everybody seems to be on board, with some owners and other prominent individuals beginning to beat the drum of revisiting the drug policy.
The latest one is Dallas Cowboys VP Stephen Jones, echoing the thoughts of his father, owner Jerry Jones, who recently spoke to Pro Football Talk Live and discussed the NFL’s drug policy and their belief that it needed to be reexamined in light of changing moods on the topic both internally and around the country.
“Well, our system, our testing, has been in place for years and not unlike we do in our organization”, he said, “we always look to see how we can do it better”. He continued, saying that his and his father’s view is that the system “needs to be heavily scrutinized in terms of its results”.
“Is it helping players in terms of their accountability?”, he asked. “Addiction is a sickness and you want to make sure [that you’re helping the players]…obviously, there’s accountability, but it’s also a program that helps players get better”, adding that they believe it “could be done better and we just need to take a look at it”.
One might be tempted to question the Cowboys’ organization for holding this position and speaking on it prominently, considering that their 2014 first-round draft pick, Randy Gregory, who has already served a four- and 10-game suspension and is now set to serve a third suspension for at least the 2017 season.
“We should all want the very best for our players”, Jones said. “We should want the very best for our organizations and we should want the very best for our fans, and that’s anything that has to do with the NFL”.
He did say that he beliefs societal shifts in the view on marijuana should factor into the discussion about reviewing the league’s drug policy, in addition to the fact that the drug is now legal for at least medical purposes in the majority of the country, with more or less annual expansion.
“When you re-look at the whole program, I think you should take a look at every aspect of it. From the testing to the discipline to the amounts, anything to do with this”, he said.
“At the end of the day our goal should be to help players who have sicknesses and addictions and make them better people off the field, and then how we go about that I think is what needs to be looked at and make sure we’re doing everything the best way we can do it”.
“Obviously, when you look at something like that you have to look at, ‘how do we do it in society right now? How does that affect the way a player sees his situation in that lens?’ And then make decisions based on that”.