NHL Needs To Crack Down On Cocaine
Bob Probert, Grant Fuhr, Theo Fleury, Kevin Stevens, Todd Fedoruk and now Ryan Malone all busted or admitted to using a form of cocaine. That is just to name a few that we know of, but the list is much bigger in the NHL. When you look across all four major North American sports, the list is mind boggling.
The NHL really does a nice job of cracking down on PED’s. Matter of fact, all sports are hell bent on it, but not so much on the stuff that kills. Let’s be clear, I am not stating that the NHL or any other professional sports league doesn’t care, but drug use is so rampant in all sports that you would probably be suspending half of all athletes. Is my statement outlandish? Maybe, but shouldn’t we fans stand up for what’s right? Yes, fans you are powerful, because it’s your money and patronage that keeps the leagues running.
Addiction is a terrible disease and comes in many forms. Greed is an addiction as well and causes those who have the immediate power to turn away from doing something bold. The time IS NOW in all sports to do what’s right. And I don’t mean legalizing marijuana to NFL players for medicinal purposes either. It’s time to start seriously testing and suspending players for violating the LAW! It’s time to get them the help they need before they kill themselves or worst yet, someone else.
Another issue facing the NHL is pain-killers. Due to recent deaths of Wade Belak, Rick Rypien and Derek Boogaard a lot of focus deservedly so is there. But now with Ryan Malone being arrested for DUI and cocaine possession the NHL has a tremendous opportunity to get out in front of this problem and for once, lead the way for all professional sports.
Cocaine is a tough drug to test for, because it can be out of your system within days. That is why it’s important to have frequent and random testing more then ever before. I don’t even want the players suspended at first when the program is implemented. The teams in conjunction with the league should put players in violation in a mandatory program and test them regularly for 6 months after. From there it is the responsibility of all parties to keep violators straight and if not, start setting examples.
NHL players and athletes give us so much joy. I know in today’s world, many people get a rise in seeing a star fall. I don’t. Whether these athletes like it or not, they are role models and as a father, I want them to do well.
So to Gary Bettman, NHL owners, NHL players and all those involved in sports today, please help each other out. And to Ryan Malone, please get better and beat this problem that can kill you and/or others.