Friday, June 19, 2009

The NFL's Newest Off-field Incident

If you’ve seen ESPN at all in the past few weeks, you’ve probably heard something about Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth being in court for a DUI which tragically resulted in the death of a pedestrian. If not, here’s the summary; Stallworth was hit a pedestrian while driving from somewhere to somewhere else in Miami. The man was jaywalking. He was killed as a result of the accident. And Stallworth’s BAC was over the legal limit.

He’s going to serve time. He’s going to lose his license, as it stands presently, for the rest of his life. He’s going to serve an incredible suspension from the league, imposed by Roger Godell. And he’s settled, or will be settling, out of court with the family to avoid a civil suit.

There are those that think the league has no right to suspend him. Incidentally, these are the same people that defended Plaxico Burress for this gun charge and Michael Vick about dog fighting. I have even read comments in response to ESPN articles that say the man is dead because he jaywalked, not because Stallworth was intoxicated.

Now that’s an interesting point. If Stallworth was sober, and the same incident took place, the man would be just as dead. That is, of course, that reflexes weren’t so impaired that Donte’ could have avoided the collision.

But as for the suspension, the league does have, and has had the right to adjudicate discipline for off-field incidents and behavior. They’re been doing it for years. So why now are people taking up arms? Could it have anything to do with the fact that a record number of million-dollar bonus baby retards are now engaged in off-field offenses with a feeling of invincibility?

Anyway, here’s my point. All these aforementioned retards can learn something from Stallworth. He screwed up. He is accepting the penalties of his actions. He has not made any excuses. He is not pleading his personal case with a woe is me attitude. What happened was a horrible thing. Could it have been avoided? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, he’ll have to live with what’s happened. And he has conducted himself earnestly and contritely at every turn. I’m sorry that any of it had to happen, but his conduct in dealing with his punishment is an example that the rest of the league could stand to learn from.

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