There is one place that Santa Clause can scratch off his ‘good’ list this year and that is the locker room of the New York Jets. Add another name to the bad boy count in Darron Lee, who received a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy – which means that the 2016 first round draft pick has failed at least three drug screening tests.
Lee was caught using ‘recreational drugs’ such as marijuana or cocaine and not a performance-enhancer such as anabolic steroids. And the way the rules are stated, it is quite the arduous task to get to the point that Lee did. Here’s the Cliff Notes version: a player can fail or miss two scheduled tests before being given yet ANOTHER chance to piss clean; third time’s a charm and done randomly. If he blows this one, then a four-game suspension is handed down IF he failed the second test within 90 days of the first.
Here’s the bottom line – Lee fucked up many times and has had off-the-field problems besides this. If not for teammate Leonard Williams basically picking him up and dragging him away, Lee would have had another embarrassment on his ‘rap sheet.’ In the summer of 2017, the two were at the Governors Ball Music Festival when Lee began yelling at an unidentified female. Lucky for him, Williams recognized that the situation was going to go from bad to worse and stepped in.
Since Bowles was named head coach in January of 2015, there have been nine arrests (seven players – linebacker Dylan Donahue and wide receiver Robby Anderson were both nabbed twice) of Jets players with eight coming since 2017. That is an alarming statistic but apparently not something that is of any concern to Bowles, who fluffed it off at a press conference during the summer.
“They do what they want to do, because we can’t monitor them 24/7,” he told reporters. “All you can do is try to teach them the right way, just like you teach your kids. They’re going to mess up. You try to fix it, you try to correct it, but you don’t throw them by the wayside. At the same time, you’ve got to let them know there are consequences.”
If the head coach does not discipline his players in any way, then the consequences are not as much of a deterrent as they could and should be. And Bowles not putting his foot down immediately with a young player like Lee gave him enough rope to hang himself.
Here’s the bottom line: criminal behavior and rule breaking have become commonplace in the NFL and the Jets are merely a microcosm of that. One of the many reasons why we have chosen to not cover the league from a sports standpoint, but rather only to critique it and point out incidents such as this one with Lee.
What was once the proud and top sport called “America’s Game” has become an embarrassment off the field and in many cases, on it, as well. The silly celebrations are cringe-worthy and it doesn’t even matter if a team is trailing by three touchdowns. Some dickhead receiver is going to twerk in the end zone and complain that he doesn’t get enough ‘looks’ so he can do it more often.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – FUCK THE NFL.