Rolando McClain failed yet another routine pre-season drug test for allegedly consuming purple drank. The new wave drug has grown widely popular among young people over the last few years. Purple Drank is typically a mixture of codeine, cough syrup, Sprite, and a fruity Jolly Rancher candy for flavor. It’s like a glass of wine on steroids.
After testing positive for the element of codeine present in the purple drank, Rolando McClain received a 10-game suspension for the NFL’s upcoming season. That suspension does not technically come into play until the season is underway, but the linebacker’s future with football is currently an unanswerable question.
McClain has not been seen on the field since the testing. He has not attended any of the Dallas Cowboys-required training sessions for the preseason training camp. He did show up for a mandatory minicamp but did not practice due to lack of conditioning. He was reportedly 30lbs over his maximum weight. It is unknown as to whether the athlete desires to continue playing in the National Football League. Efforts to connect with his manager have been largely unsuccessful.
If actions speak louder than words, Rolando is screaming to be released from the Cowboys’ roster. He had already retired twice from the sport before signing with the team in 2014. He missed four games last season due to suspension and is reportedly in the final stage of the NFL’s substance abuse program policy. The ice is more than thin for this struggling linebacker.
Until the upcoming season actually begins, McClain is technically not in violation of his contract with the team. He is, however, responsible for a $40,000 fine for every preseason practice he misses. His future is a delicate legal situation wrapped tightly in a mound of red tape. If the Cowboys choose to release him from the team, then there would be a $750,000 penalty to the team‘s salary cap.
The NFL has given Rolando many wide opened doors throughout his career, all of which he has chosen not to walk through. If he chooses not to commit to the football substance abuse policy, then he will face a mandatory one-year suspension from the league. When coach Jason Garrett was questioned per McClain’s future with the game, he simply stated that the coaching staff is “focused on coaching the guys who are here.”
Drug usage has been an ongoing issue for athletes for many years. The league has made many steps to assist players that develop substance abuse problems, but little change has come from the effort.
Codeine in the body of an active athlete will be undetectable on a drug test after as little as three days. McClain would have had to use the substance within that time period for the testing to show his indiscretion. It is not like marijuana. This only proves that the Cowboys LB had recently ingested the purple drank and had little regard for the NFL while doing so.
Rolando McClain is a sick man. He needs help. Continuous negative consequences will almost certainly compound the problem, and the world will simply keep turning. With so many different types of pain and suffering riddling the league’s players, it raises a bigger question: Does the demographic of the National Football League have any correlation to the issue? In addition, what other variables contribute to the trending problem?
Purple drank has all sorts of illegal situations that are likely to surround its existence. Codeine is not something someone can just go buy at the pharmacy or the local grocery store. It is only available through prescription, which implies that the use of the purple drank is only one of the illegal behaviors surrounding the trend.
[Photo by Roger Steinman/AP Images]