May 13, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon (14) answers questions from the media about his recent four-game suspension by the NFL for violation of its substance abuse policy after organized team activities at The Florida Blue Health
Justin Blackmon was suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season shortly after the 2013 NFL Draft. He was suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy for the second time. The first violation was last year when he was arrested for a DUI in Oklahoma shortly after being drafted. The news is frustrating for those of us that want to see his skills be used to benefit the rebuilding Jacksonville Jaguars, but it is something that we, as fans, are learning to deal with. It’s disappointing, but the Jaguars have added enough weapons that they should be able to pick up the slack.
Blackmon addressed the media on Monday and has apologized to his teammates, praised the new team leadership, and, perhaps most notably, stated that he does not have a substance abuse problem. Here is the notable statement:
"No, I would say I don’t. Out of this whole thing, one of the main things I would say that I had a problem with just making poor decisions, making a selfish decision at that and not thinking about the long-term of it. If you want to ask if I have a problem, I have a problem with making poor decisions."
While he may not have a substance abuse problem, he definitely does have a decision making problem. The bad decisions he has made have led to a DUI in college, one after, and now a four game suspension from the 2013 regular season. He definitely hasn’t been thinking of the long term and maybe he will be able to see that now.
If Blackmon violates the substance abuse policy again then he can be suspended for a full season. As a Jaguars fan I certainly hope that doesn’t happen. A year ban is a long-term ban and would definitely bring his focus to the bigger picture, stopping him from making the self-identified selfish decisions. Here is his statement following his suspension.
It will be nice to see him back in black and teal after week four.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims