The Public Shame of Being Arrested

On November 11, just last week, another player, Roy Miller of the Kansas Chiefs was arrested on domestic abuse. On August 18, Michael Bowie, of the NY Giants, was arrested for domestic violence just one day after Sean Smith, Oakland, was charged with felony assault for an incident in Pasadena, Calif., on July 4, accused of stomping on head of sister's boyfriend. Dante Fowler, who plays for Jacksonville, was arrested in July for hitting a man who criticized his driving in St. Petersburg.

It seems out of control. Since the beginning of the year, there have been 31 NFL players (two on more than one occasion) either arrested or accused of domestic abuse, disorderly conduct, violence, resisting arrest, drugs, DUI, or a probation violation. That’s almost three per month. What is the cause for this behavior? Is it because they cannot manage the pressure of stardom? Is it the effect of social media and the current trend toward the inability to negotiate anger and confrontation? Perhaps it is because our police need a reformed procedure manual? (The existing “shoot first, ask questions later” mentality seriously needs to be permanently retired.) Or, is it the intertwined complexities of human personality, financial stress, debt, political associations, sexual dysfunction, and a bad day at work?

Unfortunately, the worst part of this problem is we often judge these athletes based on incomplete or skewed news stories. But the fact is, something did happen. So how should this behavior be managed? Should the NFL interfere? Should there be employment consequences? I welcome your thoughts.

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