In my column yesterday I opined that the NFL should reinstate suspended defensive lineman Johnny Jolly and the Green Bay Packers should welcome him back with open arms and give him the chance to compete for a job.
Jolly was suspended indefinitely in 2010 for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He has a history of codeine addiction and spent time in jail. But he claims he has been clean for eight months and has petitioned the NFL to reinstate him.
Not everyone agreed with my stance. In the interest of fostering a free flow of ideas, I wanted to allow the anti-Jolly faction to offer their opinions. Here's a sampling of the dissenters, either via email or Facebook comments attached to the end of the online version of my column:
Jim Dekker: Sorry boys but this guy is a two-time offender. No mas!
Mosey Cat: He was given a second chance. And he blew it. We all make mistakes, but hopefully we learn from them. And if we don't, we suffer the consequences. We don't keep getting another chance just because we happen to help line the pockets of some sports organization. Jolly had 600 grams of the stuff - not milligrams. If it was pot, he would have been charged with intent to sell.
Brad McCrillis: I do not have an issue if the NFL and the Packer choose to allow Jolly back. However, what an article of pure entitlement! I am sorry but neither the Packers nor the NFL "owe" Jolly another crack at this. He can always get a regular job like the rest of us if no one chooses to take another risk on him.
Paul Lemke: Whereas I hope he gets a shot? he doesn't "deserve" anything. The Pack owe him nothing. If anything it is the other way around.
Peter Thompson: It ain't worth the trouble. He's been away too long. Give a young gun with potential the opportunity. ? He should not under current circumstances take a position from a more deserving younger player who is in proper football condition with skills on the rise. The Packers are not a social service organization for drug addicts to find redemption. People need to earn their shot. He had his and blew it more than once.
John Gregory: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, what am I an idiot?
Robert Drumm: Jolly has paid his dues and his debt to society? I thought he was sentenced to 6 years in jail and was released within months because jail was such a "shock" to him. No doubt he has suffered for his repeated mistakes but I don't see how he has paid his dues if the judge who originally sentenced him to 6 years was a fair and just man.
Craig Herold: If Mike Vick deserved a chance so does Jolly. But with stipulations. He should agree to get a drug test every week during the entire year (52 tests per year). If he misses a week he is suspended for one regular season game. If he whines to the press about having to take drug tests he is permanently suspended. If he doesn't like the stipulations he doesn't have to come back. There are 10 million other kids that wish they could get a chance to play in pro sports.