NFL star Josh Gordon has never played a game sober. That has to change if he plans to play in another one.
One day before the Cleveland Browns wide receiver gets another shot at rebooting his star-crossed career, Gordon revealed in a candid magazine interview that he used drugs or alcohol before every game of his career — pro or college.
Gordon, reinstated conditionally by Commissioner Roger Goodell last week after being suspended for nearly three years, told GQ he drank or smoked marijuana before “every game. Probably every game of my career.”
The former pro bowler did the interview before meeting with Goodell in New York.
Gordon said he began taking drugs in seventh grade, and he outlined a pre-game routine as a pro where he would do shots of alcohol to “get the motor running”.
“We would stay at the team hotel and then players are allowed to go back home, get what they need and then go to the game,” said Gordon. “So, I’d leave the hotel early morning, go home, eat breakfast, do my little ritual, whatever it may be, some weed, some alcohol and then go to the game. And then, I’d definitely be partying after every game, win or lose. Every game.”
Browns’ coach Hue Jackson said Gordon’s disclosure won’t change the team’s decision to accept him back.
“I think he was cleansing himself of his past, and I get that a little bit, but again, I think he said what he felt he needed to say,” said Jackson, who coached Gordon before the 26-year-old checked himself into rehab in 2016.
Jackson said he planned to sit down with Gordon and discuss his disclosures, which included him saying, “a bunch of guys smoke weed before the game, but we’re not talking about them.”
Gordon has been suspended three times for multiple violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy. During his first stint with the Browns, Gordon said he found ways to cheat the league’s rules.
“If I had already been drug tested that week, or the day before the game, I knew I had a couple days to buy to clean my system,” he said. “Even before I was getting tested for alcohol, prior to my DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in 2014, I would take the biggest bong rip I could and try to conceal all the smell off all my clothes. I’d be dressed up to go to the game.”
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