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Favre angry that NFL turns its back on Robinson

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Brett Favre sharply criticized the way
the NFL handles substance abuse problems Wednesday, a day after
teammate Koren Robinson was suspended for the season, apparently
because of a drunken driving charge.

"I'm not against banning him for the
year. I'd love for him to play, but to boot him out, clean his
locker out and say you can't have no contact with this team?"
-- Brett Favre

"I don't like the way the league has, in my mind, turned their
back on him," Favre said. "I'm not against banning him for the
year. I'd love for him to play, but to boot him out, clean his
locker out and say you can't have no contact with this team?"

Favre, who entered the NFL's substance abuse program during
treatment for an addiction to painkillers in 1996, said it doesn't
make sense that the policy bans his teammate from the Packers'
facilities "and the support group that can help him."

NFL spokesman Michael Signora said the league had no comment.

The league's policy includes a stipulation against consuming
alcohol while participating in its substance abuse program.
Robinson apparently violated that before being arrested Aug. 15,
when police said the receiver's blood-alcohol content was 0.11
percent, above the legal limit of 0.08.

He pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of drunken driving and
fleeing police in a high-speed chase near the south-central
Minnesota town of St. Peter.

In the eyes of the NFL, the difference between Favre's case and
Robinson's was that Favre sought help under the league's substance
abuse policy and voluntarily entered a treatment facility after
suffering a seizure while in the hospital for ankle surgery.

Favre wasn't subject to punishment, only periodic drug testing
used for treatment. He also complained after treatment about being banned
himself from drinking when he was in the NFL's program, though he
made a conscious effort after his treatment to quit drinking to
prolong his career and be a good family man.

Still, Favre said the league's decision on Robinson doesn't seem
to be in anyone's best interest.

"I'm no expert, but I would think you would want for people to
reach out to him and be within an organization that can help him as
opposed to saying, 'You're banned from the building. To make
matters worse, we don't even want you over here, so go think about
it and deal with it on your own,"' Favre said.

Robinson said as recently as Monday he didn't expect to be
suspended, but the league moved quickly against him. He did not
return a phone call Wednesday.

His agent, Alvin Keels, said that Robinson is in a "state of
shock" and thought the league would wait to hand down its
punishment.

Robinson had caught seven passes for 89 yards and averaged 21.1
yards on 12 kickoff returns in four games for the Packers this
year. He is eligible to be reinstated no sooner than Sept. 18,
2007.

Favre said Robinson told him last week that despite his
troubles, he thought he had a lot of years left. Favre responded
that he wished he could have played with Robinson earlier in his
career.

"[He's] really a great guy," Favre said. "It's unfortunate
that he has to go through this, but maybe it makes him a better
person. Whether or not it makes him a better player remains to be
seen I think the most important thing is his health and his
family."

The suspension leaves the Packers without a proven No. 3
receiver with Ruvell Martin and other players expected to fill in
with Robert Ferguson still on crutches after a foot injury.