When Richard Sherman won his appeal last December after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, Seahawks fans were hoping that would be the last of the PED scandals the team would have to face.
Those hopes ended last week when 2012 first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin issued a statement following the announcement of his four-game suspension for a positive test for performance enhancing drugs.
“I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans for making a mistake when I took a substance that is prohibited in the NFL without a medical exemption,” said Irvin in a written statement. “I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions. I will not appeal the discipline and instead will focus my energy on preparing for the season so I can begin earning your trust and respect again. I look forward to contributing to the team the moment I return.”
I commend Irvin for being accountable for his actions. Similar to how we operate in the military, once you’ve made a mistake there’s no going back so you may as well own it, apologize for it and keep moving forward while making sure it doesn’t happen again.
What concerns me more is that it is starting to appear that there is a pattern emerging among these young defensive players. Because we don’t know for sure what substance these players are testing positive for, it is difficult to draw any conclusions.
Another thing is that it makes it more difficult to defend our team when something like this happens. While I feel like a lot of fans had Sherman’s back when he was appealing his case, it makes it more difficult to believe he truly was innocent with so many others testing positive.
Unfortunately, if Sherman was innocent and didn’t get off on a “technicality” like many detractors suggest, then this also reflect badly upon him particularly following his statement that so many players in the NFL are taking some type of banned substance.
Let’s all just hope this is the last instance we hear about for a long time. When the Seahawks finish their Super Bowl run this year I don’t want there to be any doubt that the team got there cleanly.
A word of caution though. If you’re in the Puget Sound area and on active duty, you may want to avoid the drinking fountains if you visit the Seahawks athletic facility in Renton. You know, just in case there’s something in the water that’s causing this apparent epidemic of positive tests. I don’t know if the military tests for PEDs, but better to be safe than sorry.