Aldon Smith has been away from football a full year now. Thursday marks the anniversary of his banishment under the NFL’s substance abuse policy and the day he’s formally eligible for reinstatement.
He filed for reinstatement last month, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will ultimately decide if and when the Raiders edge rusher is allowed to play. There is no formal timetable for Goodell to make his ruling. It could happen Thursday, or next week or next month or next year.
Smith vowed that setbacks won’t beat him. He expressed that point in a video posted on YouTube Wednesday night and filmed at an unknown date after a private workout session in San Francisco.
He wants to be an example for people that feel beaten down by adversity.
“I’m going to speak for myself, because I’m in that situation,” Smith said in the video clip. “I won’t take no for an answer. I won’t be defeated. You have to understand that it’s your life. You can’t let anybody control it no matter what they try to do to you. Most importantly, God put you here for a reason, so make the best out of your life and your situation and be a blessing to somebody else and show the world what you’re worth.”
The Raiders are hopeful Smith will return this season, but expressed that getting his personal life in order should be his top priority.
He checked himself into rehab this summer, and looks to be in great physical shape. Another video entitled “Greatest comeback ever” was also posted on YouTube and show Smith training hard.
He has been away from football and the team since his suspension began. It was prompted by an Aug. 2015 run-in with the law that generated misdemeanor charges of DUI, hit-and-run and vandalism.
Smith told the Associated Press on Nov. 3 that he would be back in two weeks, in line with an early reinstatement date.
Smith didn’t directly address football or his suspension in the video, talking instead about hard work and making appropriate life choices.
“Life is all about the choices you make,” he said. “You’re always going to be surrounded with things that work to your favor and others that work against you. You have to figure out how you want to live your life. You have people … who are good influences and want what’s best in your life, and that makes it easier to stay away from the negative. Focusing on the positive is beneficial to your life, your health. It pays off in the long run.”