The NFL suspended players from all but one game for “wasted” on destiny or “toxic” waste, and suspended five others for “intentional” or “substantial” waste.
All of those suspensions are for violating the league’s rules on substance abuse.
The league has made it clear that players who use performance-enhancing drugs must remain suspended from the game and are subject to additional discipline.
But what about those who are not caught?
In a statement to the media, NFL executive vice president of legal affairs Michael Signora said the league is “committed to treating players the same as all other fans,” but added that suspensions are “generally more severe” than those for non-doping violations.
The statement was issued to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington after ESPN.com revealed the suspensions of players including New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore.
The players were suspended for violating league rules on substances and conduct that would be considered a violation of the league rules against performance-induced performance-cheating.
In addition to Manning, Bennett and Gore, former Seattle Seahawks linebacker and defensive end Bruce Irvin and Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles also were suspended by the league.
The suspensions also come after several high-profile high-level football players, including Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, were suspended during the 2016-17 season.
The NFL has previously said it is “aware of the potential for performance-related substance abuse among its players” and has “enhanced its enforcement of substance abuse rules” in an effort to address that issue.
But many fans are concerned about the quality of life for players.
In a poll conducted by the Sports Illustrated website last year, 81 percent of Americans said they would rather play football if they could.
The survey also showed that 78 percent of people surveyed believe the league should be held to the same standards as other sports.
And NFL players are not the only ones to face scrutiny from the public.
The New York Times published a story in June that revealed how players were given bonuses that could have led to an investigation into how they were paid.
In the article, a source said the bonus payments were part of a plan by the team to get rid of players who did not make the team’s roster.
The team reportedly was given $5.3 million to play in the 2016 playoffs and was expected to be able to collect at least $5 million.