NFL Players Get Benched For Boozing During Offseason
The 2012 NFL season kicks off this month, and many teams have high aspirations of making a deep run into this year’s playoffs. The season officially began on September 5th, when the Cowboys traveled to New York to play the Giants, who are the defending Super Bowl Champions. The rest of teams had to wait until September 9th or 10th to start their campaigns to dethrone the Giants, however some teams will be without a few of their key players due to alcohol and drug related incidents that occurred during the offseason. Over the last few months a few players have had to go through alcohol treatment programs or detox centers after some drug and alcohol related incidents were reported. Some of these players are now facing suspensions from the league for violating the NFL’s conduct policy.
Every year, and in every major sport, athletes wind up getting in trouble with the law. As much as they are idolized, professional athletes are in fact human, and thus very capable of making mistakes. However, NFL players seem to have a certain propensity for accumulating more arrests than other professional sports leagues. More than 30 NFL players from several different teams were arrested this offseason, and the three biggest causes of those arrests were DUI, drug possession and domestic violence. In fact of the 33 player arrests that occurred during the past 5 months, 14 of them were for DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated).
Most recently in the news, after last nights Monday football game, the Falcons running back Michael Turner was arrested and placed in the Gwinnett County Jail in GA. Turner is being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding. Other players caught in the past driving under the influence are Jaguars top draft-pick Justin Blackmon, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, and Tennessee Titans star wide receiver Kenny Britt.
The Case of Sam Hurd
One NFL player who has showed serious issues with drug abuse is Sam Hurd. Hurd spent five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys before agreeing to a 3 year, 4.2 million dollar deal with the Chicago Bears in 2011. In December of 2011, He was arrested after negotiating with an undercover Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent to buy 5-10 kilos of cocaine and 100 lbs of marijuana per week to distribute around the Chicago area. Hurd was using the money from his sizable contract with the Bears to fund one of Chicago’s largest drug rings. He is no longer in the NFL after the Bears terminated his contract following his arrest, but is still battling in the Chicago courtrooms and pleading not guilty to charges of possession, conspiracy and intent to distribute narcotics , for which he could serve a minimum of 10 years to life. Needless to say, the future of the 26 year old former wide receiver does not look very promising.
The prevalence of alcohol and drug related arrests of professional athletes has been rising precipitously for some time. Hopefully, these players will get the help they need by going to an alcohol treatment center or alcohol detox program. These players could have the opportunity to recover and help many of their friends and fans who may be suffering from addiction by sharing their expeirence, strength, and hope.