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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Koren Robinson: Redemption Song

Koren Robinson was suspended a year ago for violations of the league's substance abuse policy. Robinson also suffers from alcoholism and as part of the treatment for his disease, he takes a pill every day which causes alcohol ingestion to make him ill.

Well, a year later, Commissioner Roger Goodell has reviewed the circumstances involved in Robinson's suspension.

And, in a decision that may very well bolster Odell Thurman's mandate to fight for the employment rights of the disabled which the NFL has trounced upon; Robinson has been reinstated by the league.

The reinstatement of Koren Robinson is a clear admission by the NFL that Robinson may or may not have been treated unfairly by the arbitrarily instituted policy.

Clearly, with the threat of Odell Thurman's possible suit on behalf of the disabled, the NFL finds itself in a corner and is trying to right some of the wrongs they have committed.

We applaud Roger Goodell's decision to reinstate Robinson. Albeit, the decision was clearly forced by the circumstances of Robinson's disability.

And, as Brett Favre said about his teammate, "...there's still a lot left for him to do on and off the field, but give the guy an opportunity."

Redemption is a sweet, sweet song.

16 comments:

Foxxy Brown said...

i'm stunned the first post of the day is not about today's Shitlock column.

i pray for a return of the term "blatant bojanglry." [sp?]

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"i'm stunned the first post of the day is not about today's Shitlock column."

Ma'am, we generally take his columns with a grain of salt...we aren't sure he really believes what he says. He generally writes for shock and effect.

We can't relate to that.

Foxxy Brown said...

indeed his column had an effect on me this morning. i hate to curse that much first thing in the morning.

i greatly suspect Goodell's move had a little bit of something to do with mitigation vis a vis the Thurman lawsuit.

and, vis a vis the meeting of the "minds" in the Thurman post comments:

The ADA provides that any employee or job applicant who is “currently engaging” in the illegal use of drugs is not a “qualified individual with a disability.”[6] Therefore, an employee who illegally uses drugs—whether the employee is a casual user or an addict—is not protected by the ADA if the employer acts on the basis of the illegal drug use.[7] As a result, an employer does not violate the ADA by uniformly enforcing its rules prohibiting employees from illegally using drugs.[8] However, “qualified individuals” under the ADA include those individuals:

who have been successfully rehabilitated and who are no longer engaged in the illegal use of drugs;

who are currently participating in a rehabilitation program and are no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs;[10] and

who are regarded, erroneously, as illegally using drugs.[11]

A former drug addict may be protected under the ADA because the addiction may be considered a substantially limiting impairment.[12] However, according to the EEOC Technical Assistance Manual on the ADA, a former casual drug user is not protected:

[A] person who casually used drugs illegally in the past, but did not become addicted is not an individual with a disability based on the past drug use. In order for a person to be “substantially limited” because of drug use, s/he must be addicted to the drug.[13]

Dave the Wave said...

i dont know what lawyer girl is trying to say....but i'd hit it!! fo' sho'!

love,

dave

Steven A's Cheese Doodles said...

that's all well and good, foxy...but odell's problem is alcohol related...not drug.

Steven A's Cheese Doodles said...

ohh...and robinson's suspension was following his alcohol problems...

Five Pound Bag said...

So now Koren Robinson will be able to return to work in Wisconsin? The land of Miller, Old Milwaukee, and Milwaukee's Best?

I understand that if you want to fight your demons, you have to go to hell, but perhaps Brother Robinson would be better off in a less beer-and-cheese-heavy environment.

Andrew said...

I have to respectfully disagree that Goodell's actions regarding Robinson has much to do with the Odell Thurman case.

Here's the huge difference between Robinson and Thurman. Robinson has a documented medical disease, complete with a medication regiment. Robinson has acknowledged his alcoholism and so has the NFL.

Thurman has not admitted nor is he even alleging that he is an alcoholic. He is instead alleging that the NFL is TREATING him as an alcoholic, which has a load of implications. The NFL will likely argue that they are not treating Thurman as an alcoholic, which is why his case differs from Robinson.

Two other points, if you'll allow:
I think that the NFL is not likely to budge much on the Thurman issue because they too will have really passionate attorneys, and have already stated that they feel like they are in line with the law. Without choosing a side here, I think the interesting thing about the Thurman case is that both sides have a strong and legitimate legal argument. One that likely will not be settled for YEARS.

The EEOC's troubles with backlogging are well documented, and just because Thurman is a notable figure does not mean that his case will get bumped up the list. We won't be hearing much about the suit for a long time. Thurman will likely be playing in the NFL before the case is settled.

Finally, what I consider to be the most interesting point of this:
Torrie Cox also filed against the EEOC for the same reason as Thurman.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2978901

In the NYT article, it's unclear (because it's unmentioned) whether Cox has withdrawn or stood his ground on his filing against the NFL with the EEOC. I wonder if he withdrew it because he served his suspension and now it's over.

I wonder your take on that matter as well. You've praised Thurman for standing up for the rights of the disabled. Was Cox doing the same thing? For the sake of argument, let's say Cox has since withdrawn his filing. Is he still standing up for the rights of the disabled?

Tripod said...

"Is he still standing up for the rights of the disabled?"

hahah...that sounds funny.

Gern said...

How many opportunities should this guy get? I believe in second chances, but no more than that. Do you honestly believe this guy can avoid alcohol? I don't. Why not open up another spot for a more deserving, sober young black man.

ZEKE said...

"Do you honestly believe this guy can avoid alcohol? "

sure...he's taking drugs to avoid alcohol...seems like a fool proof plan.. what could go wrong?

Lil John's Pimp Cup said...

A. If you are "currently engaging" and are suspended for two years for violating the league's substance abuse policy, you don't become a "qualified individual" by going to rehab and kicking the habit during the penalty. You become a qualified individual AFTER serving the full penalty.

B. If you are a diagnosed alcoholic protected by the ADA, there is nothing that leads to the conclusion that you are protected in the event you misuse other drugs.

Foxxy Brown said...

"that's all well and good, foxy...but odell's problem is alcohol related...not drug."

hi - i posted the ADA stuff because i think it could be a legal issue regarding whether alcohol is a "drug" under the ADA and also to educate re: the qualifying conditions. i make no conclusions one way or the other re: Robinson or Thurman. don't know enough about their situations and don't care

Foxxy Brown said...

"....but i'd hit it!! fo' sho'!"

and now you and Dr. King are united. you both have a dream.

Foxxy Brown said...

and, yes, the Bret Favre reference? priceless.

[sorry for the multiple posts]

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"and, yes, the Bret Favre reference? priceless."

Ma'am, glad someone was paying attention!