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Math Is Hard! A Girl’s Guide to Orlando Scandrick’s Suspension

Orlando Scandrick is suspended for four games. Ray Rice is suspended for two. Do the math.

Bear with me. I’m a girl, so I’m probably not very good at logic or math.

Today, the NFL suspended Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick for four games for testing positive for MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy or Molly. Three weeks ago, the NFL suspended Ray Rice for two games for allegedly knocking out his fiancée.

So two is larger than four, right?

Or maybe the answer is that taking a party drug with your girlfriend is twice as bad as beating her unconscious. Which is it? Math class is tough!

And then there’s this complicated business about multiple factors! Mr. Goodell reportedly met with Ray Rice’s wife, Janay, Rice, and four other men — Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome, Ravens president Dick Cass, and NFL execs Jeff Pash and Adolpho Birch — and took Janay’s plea for leniency for Rice into account. One woman — a woman who had been beaten and then publicly shamed — and six of the more powerful men in America: There was no imbalance in that room, right?

Even so, Rice’s punishment, we’ve been told, was harsh. “He will lose 3/17 of his salary,” Ravens senior VP Ken Byrne pointed out in an article defending Rice’s sterling character. 3/17! That sounds like a really big number! Or is it a really small number? Fractions are hard!

The NFL has already handed out four-game suspensions during the 2014 season to Jake Knott, Brandon Moore, Frank Alexander, Stedman Bailey, Robert Mathis, Jayron Hosley, Lane Johnson, Dion Jordan, and Rokevious Watkins for substance abuse or for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Wait — I’m confused. Why would anyone do something so heinously inexcusable as smoking marijuana, a relatively common recreational drug that is now legal in some states? Or why would anyone do something so loathsome and vile and incomprehensible as trying to extend their career and make as much money as possible before the frequent blitzes to their brains lead to cerebral cortical atrophy, neurofibrillary tangles, cavum septum pellucidum with fenestrations, dense tau immunoreactive inclusions, and axonal disruption and loss, producing symptoms that can include headaches, memory loss, attention impairment, depression, increased aggression, personality disorders, and even dementia?

Then again, what do I know? Who thinks women can understand science?

But that’s not all! LaVon Brazill, Fred Davis, and Josh Gordon have all been suspended for a minimum of one year for repeat offenses of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy (although Gordon’s suspension is under appeal). One is a little number, but one year means 16 games, which sounds like a lot. It’s four times the length of a four-game suspension. It’s eight times the length of an two-game suspension.

I think I’m getting the hang of this!

The Cardinals’ Daryl Washington also received at least a one-year suspension. In April, a judge sentenced Washington to probation after he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault; a woman — the mother of his daughter — claimed she broke her collarbone when he shoved her down. The league, however, announced that the yearlong ban was for his second violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, not for the assault. It’s important to keep these things straight.

And this makes sense, because the NFL has a big drug problem compared to national averages, while its relative domestic violence rates are low. Right?

Oh, wait. Its arrest rate for domestic violence is more than four times worse than the arrest rate for all offenses — and five times worse than its arrest rate for drug-related offenses?

But hey, I’m girl. What do I know?