Chris Carter on Josh Gordon: Not everyone is in a position to be saved

Gordon

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Having dealt with his own struggles with substance abuse before turning out a Hall of Fame NFL career, former wide receiver Chris Carter spoke candidly about maligned Browns receiver Josh Gordon and his potential suspension for violating the league’s policy on illegal drugs.

“It’s fairly obvious that [using substances] is more important to him than anything else,” Carter said to Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Mary Kay Cabot. “It’s always been very, very important to him. It’s well-documented that it’s been primary since early college. Maybe it even goes back to early high school.”

Carter, dealing with both drugs and alcohol early in his career, bottomed out after being cut by Buddy Ryan and the Philadelphia Eagles. It wasn’t until this moment when he went onto a long and stellar career with the Vikings, hauling in over 1000 passes for 12,000 yards and 111 touchdowns.

Gordon was recently the subject of a report from ESPN’s Outside the Lines which said the receiver tested positive for marijuana. It is believed that Gordon is in Stage 3 of the NFL’s drug policy and another test could very well make him unavailable for all of 2014. Gordon’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus is in the process of appealing the suspension.

“If the building is on fire and the person decides to stay in there, I don’t run in there and get him out,” said Carter. “If you see them breaking the glass, if you see them struggling and trying to get out — that’s my analogy of how I help out the guys in the league and the kids that really, really need help.

“Not everyone is in a position to be saved.”

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    I’m just going to say that I disagree with Cris Carter.

  • Hopwin

    Er… on what grounds?

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    “Not everyone is in a position to be saved.”

  • Harv 21

    If you read the article it’s clear that he’s referring to the mantra of the recovering addict: the addict must want to stop before outside assistance can be effective. And it’s a waste of Carter’s energy and time to attempt to assist someone who’s not there.

  • bossman09

    He didn’t say he can’t be saved. He said Gordon is not currently in a position to be saved I.E. you can’t save someone until they want to (are in a position) to be saved. I think Carter is spot on. Gordon doesn’t care about being suspended and will not do the things to stay in the NFL.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    Ah, I forgot to read the article.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    Or figure out a way to reach the person, It’s not going to be the same for every person. Not all abusers are going to advertise that they want help.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    That is what I disagree with, I read that quote as saying he is going to wait until it gets really bad, then I can come in and save him. Get out in front of it, don’t give up because he didn’t respond the first or second time.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    This is going to sound awful, but maybe Cris Carter isn’t the greatest person to help trouble athletes. Case in point, his own son.
    Yes he recovered, and that is awesome, but does that automatically make him a good counsellor? He can relate to the person through experience, but can he help? He’s saying he won’t save somebody from a burning building because they aren’t banging on the glass. Well maybe that person doesn’t know the building is on fire, but Carter does, so why wait?

  • mgbode

    relating to your son and relating to your peers are 2 completely separate entities. the fact that he is Cris Carter and had many of the same issues is going to allow some of these athletes to open up to him. not all, of course. everyone tends to take their own path.

    regardless of if it helps the Browns, hopefully Gordon finds the path he needs to balance his life.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    Yes, they are different entities, but somebody could easily point to him and say “You can’t even get your son in line, how you gonna help me?”

  • Hopwin

    Not all abusers view their abuse as a problem. You can’t help them. Especially pot-heads. Even society can’t reach a consensus to acknowledge it is a problem see: Colorado, Washington & California.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    Of course you can. Help make them aware that there is a problem. This may take time, but it’s certainly worth the effort.

  • Hopwin

    I editted my post, may want to reread and update yours.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    Yes, but society knows it’s a drug and that drugs are harmful. If you’re referring to the addiction aspect, I liken pot addiction to fast food (very poor diet) addiction. Both will have very negative affects on a person even though they may not have the addictive qualities of alcohol or heroin.

  • mgbode

    I agree. And, if that is how someone feels even after an explanation from him, then he should move onto the next person who might be more willing to accept his help.

  • notsayinjustsayin

    Fast food, which is totally illegal, right?
    I smoke several times a day and I happen to also exercise everyday. It’s a far better mood supplement than the SSRIs and other pills the medical industrial complex has convinced the country they need.

  • Hopwin

    Clearly society does not “know” it is bad or it wouldn’t be legal in 8 states.

  • humboldt

    We are highly critical of Mary Kay, and for good reason, but let’s give her credit on this one – insightful and relevant story

  • vespo09

    Too true. Think of how Vick talks about Andy Reid compared to what Reid was/wasn’t able to do with his son.

  • Harv 21

    In fairness, I don’t think Carter suggested he was the best person to help Gordon, he was responding to a writer’s questions. MKC’s story was probably initiated by her phone call to him, in response to her editor’s instruction to do a Gordon story with a football star who recovered and excelled. If Gordon was a NBA player this would be a Jodie Valade story featuring John Lucas.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    Alcohol is bad for you and it is legal. The legality is not the point.

  • RGB

    Meanwhile, in Berea…

  • WFNY_DP

    “Of course you can. Help make them aware that there is a problem. This may take time, but it’s certainly worth the effort.”

    I apologize ahead of time if this sounds callous, but this quote sounds like it is spoken by someone who has never had anyone close to him battle addiction. I lost a very good friend to alcohol just over four years ago, and I can assure you he knew as well as anyone else that he had a problem.

    There’s a lot of broad-brushing going on here on both sides of the issue, so we should probably all take a step back and acknowledge that:

    a) none of us is Josh Gordon, and therefore we don’t know anything about Josh Gordon’s feelings and personal motivations,
    b) none of us is Cris Carter, and therefore we don’t know anything about Cris Carter’s personal feelings toward Josh Gordon beyond this quote with limited context,
    c) none of us truly knows who has–or hasn’t–reached out to Josh Gordon, how those people were received, and whether or not Gordon thinks he has a problem,
    d) we’re never going to agree 100% on whether marijuana is “harmful” or not, and that no matter whether it’s legal or not the NFL considers it a no-no and players that have the privilege of playing in the NFL have to abide by that,
    e) not everyone who is an “addict” responds to “treatment” or efforts of help from others. They just don’t.