Yeah, it’s a disease, an addiction, something people struggle with over a lifetime but all I can think of right now is the old Bobby Heenan line, “He’s got a million dollar body and a ten cent brain.”
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant has been suspended for one year for violating the NFL’s Substance Abuse policy. Last year he was suspended the first four games after a fourth (?!) violation. That placed him in the league’s high risk category making him subject to increased testing. Bryant evidently didn’t disappoint, blowing right by his fifth violation (which would’ve cost him 10 games) and going directly to a sixth resulting in a one year vacation.
The league didn’t divulge what substance(s) he was popped for but the first four came for marijuana so I assume the wacky tobacky got him again. EDIT: Now it’s being reported he actually missed/skipped scheduled tests which by rule count as automatic failures. At this point, Bryant is fast becoming the second coming of Ricky Williams. For those too young to remember – and there’s a tremendous 30 For 30 on Netflix if you want to learn more – Williams was basically another Adrian Peterson except his career was derailed by a love for weed. Bryant has all the physical tools to be one of the best wide outs in football except his ongoing drug problem is a constant detriment.
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert released the above statement earlier today. He also said the team has no intention of releasing Bryant. I applaud them standing by a young man clearly in need of help but it’s clear he’s not somebody the Steelers can count on going forward. Not that it may matter much since under the NFL’s revised drug policies, Bryant is in danger of an indefinite (permanent) suspension if he fails more tests upon his return. From Williams to Bam Morris to Josh Gordon, we’ve seen many extremely talented players have their careers blown up by drug addiction.
Here’s hoping Bryant can be the exception to the rule. Although if history is guide, it looks more like it’ll be another guy we’ll look back on ten years from now and wonder what might have been.