Sports will always have a problem with performance-enhancing drugs. It's sadly just a fact. But how should the leagues go about punishing players for their mistakes?
Thomas Davis is one player who is now dealing with the harsh reality of how these disciplinary decisions are doled out as he will serve a four-game suspension
Davis believes a player's character and what they've done in the past should be factored into the NFL's suspension decision.
LB Davis: Character should factor in PED bans https://t.co/oCrWabBFLg— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) August 13, 2018
Does doing the right thing mean you then get a "get out of jail free" card?
Look, you have to appreciate everything Davis has done off the field. He was the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year, is widely considered one of the better locker room guys in the NFL, and is a leader in between the lines and outside of them. We won't even have to mention his cheap hit on DaVante Adams
Having said that, he broke the rules. It sounds harsh, but doing work to help those off the field doesn't mean you should be able to miss fewer games for using illegal substances.
Davis himself admitted he should've been more careful. Players can have all of their substances tested before they use them. He says he has been using the same estrogen blocker for a handful of seasons, but it's an avoidable mistake to not have it tested by the team when you have that opportunity at your fingertips.
It's also extremely hard to consider a player's character off the field. Is there some sort of points system? Do you get fewer games during a suspension if you win the Man of the Year Award? How about if you donate a certain amount to charity every year?
The NFL's problem is that things aren't black and white. Adding this possible loophole would just make matters more confusing for a league that already has enough issues.
Players need to know what's in and out of bounds, and Davis crossed the line. Plain and simple.