Evil NFL Suspends Four Players Prior to Holiday Weekend

By Rachel Wold

Couldn’t this bad news have waited until Monday, Mr. NFL Commissioner? Roger Goodell burdened some poor office staff member with the task of delivering the depressing news to four NFL players that they have been suspended.

It’s the normal Friday afternoon news dump moved up a day for the sake of the holiday weekend. It’s also about as predictable as us eating hot dogs and watching fireworks on the 4th.

In what was an hour of intense paper work filing by the league, New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson received a four-game ban for apparently testing positive for marijuana:

Richardson shared this statement after the announcement:

“I apologize for letting down my family, teammates, this organization and the fans. However, words aren’t enough,” the Pro Bowler said, via Fox Sports. “This is something that can only be addressed by how I handle myself from this point on. I don’t want this to take away from what the team is trying to accomplish. While I won’t be there at the start of the regular season, I will do whatever I can to support my teammates until I’m able to return to the field.”

How about one more? Next in line was Dallas Cowboys inside linebacker Rolando McClain, who was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy:

McClain since released this statement:

“I apologize to my family, the Cowboys organization, my teammates and Cowboys fans for my mistake. I will not break the rules of my profession in the future, and I regret my error,” via NFL Players Association. “I look forward to returning to the field on week 5, when I hope to help my team beat the Patriots.”

Let’s go for three. Following McClain, Green Bay Packers defensive end Datone Jones was suspended for one game for the same violation:

Lastly, dealing a big blow to the San Diego Chargers’ offense for the first four weeks of the season, tight end Antonio Gates is suspended four games for using performance-enhancing substances.

As for Gates, he released this statement:

“In my 12 years in the NFL, I have taken tremendous pride in upholding the integrity of the NFL shield and all that it entails,” Gates said in a statement. “I have taken extreme care of my body with a holistic approach and I have never knowingly ingested a substance that was banned by the NFL. I understand that I am responsible for what is in my body and I have always believed that ignorance is no excuse when it comes to these issues. I take full responsibility for my actions.”

We wonder who’s next? While Goodell is at it, he might as well hand down the ruling on Tom Brady’s appeal. After all, there would be nothing more American than ruining the golden boy’s Fourth of July weekend at some swanky Hampton’s beach house.

Three of these players just found out they will be without a quarter of their 2015 salaries. 

Meanwhile, we can only imagine Goodell sitting in his New York City office plotting his next move:


Photo: USA Today Sports