One could guess that Colts receiver LaVon Brazill, after being suspended four games last year and indefinitely this year for repeated violations the NFL's substance abuse policy, might have a problem.
But at least he was with a franchise whose owner, Jim Irsay, knew about substance-abuse problems and was open about his own struggles. Irsay was arrested for DWI and four counts of possession earlier this year, spoke candidly with the Indianapolis Star in June about the stigma of addiction and how it should be treated as a disease.
That's what made Brazill's release on Friday a bit strange. The message from the Colts seemed to be that they wouldn't tolerate someone like Brazill, who got in trouble multiple times for drugs. Hmmm.
The argument can be made that the two situations aren't related. Brazill can't help the team on the field if he's suspended, and the Colts have to do what's best for the football team. In many ways, anything happening with the owner off the field has nothing to do with a player being suspended indefinitely and not being able to show he can stay out of trouble and help the team.
Still, it's a bad look from an owner who publicly was trying to explain how difficult addiction can be just a month ago. It just seems a bit disingenuous to move so harshly on someone who might have a substance-abuse problem after the owner spoke at length about people needing to be more understanding about addiction as a disease. It looks like a double standard.
"It takes courage to try and overcome the difficulties you have," Irsay told the Star in June. "For some reason, it's seen as unheroic. When someone beats cancer, it's like, `Wow, that's so heroic,' but when someone has this illness, it's treated like you're a leper because that person is morally corrupt, and that's not the case.
"... It's an ongoing thing in one's life when recovering from any disease. The disease never sleeps so you have to be proactive when dealing with it."
In related news, the NFL hasn't done anything to address a possible suspension for Irsay even though his arrest happened in March and misdemeanor charges were brought in May. I'm sure the league is just collecting more information.
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