Off-field offenses

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has had his hands full with disorderly players the past few weeks. But it’s not for concussions or unnecessary roughness- it’s for foul play off the field. Headlines have been buzzing about off-field conduct of NFL players.

Last week, Raven’s Jacoby Jones was injured after being hit on the head with a bottle of champagne by a stripper, the 49ers Aldon Smith was charged for drunk driving, and Bengal’s Adam Jones was accused of disorderly conduct. And let’s not forget the murder charges of Patriots’ player Aaron Hernandez.

Kids look up to their favorite players. Jacoby Jones was a hero to many for his kickoff return in the 2013 Super Bowl. Then, he is in the news for something involving strippers and champagne. He has ruined his reputation and tainted the reputation of the Ravens.

This is not the first charge for the 49er’s MVP Aldon Smith. In 2012 alone, he was arrested for the suspicion of drunk driving, stabbed at a party in his own house, and involved in a shooting at his own party. The team has placed him on the non-football illness list and was checked into rehab.

“I am taking a leave of absence to address my health,” said Smith. “I am sorry that I have affected my team, my family and the organization. I will do everything in my power to handle this situation the best way possible. I appreciate the support of the 49ers and our fans.”

Of course, out of hundreds of players in the NFL, a few are bound to get into trouble. There’s no way to regulate every action of each player. But the league does have the power influence their actions. They have the power to fine or suspend players, which sets an example for other players. When the NFL does not take proper actions to discourage negative behavior, this looks bad for the league.

Players need to realize that their actions affect much more than just their personal lives. There are three names on a jersey: their last name, their team name, and the name of the league. Every player represents all three of these. Pro football players are in the spotlight on and off the field and need to realize that each of their actions has a consequence.


2 thoughts on “Off-field offenses

  1. bpatbend

    I like this piece as you tie in a few different players that have ran into trouble this offseason. I wouldn’t say though that Jacoby Jones has “ruined his reputation” or “tainted the ravens name”. I personally feel that’s a bit dramatic. But other than that I really liked the piece. I like the end where you say the three names on a players jersey. Every player has a responsibility to carry themselves properly off the field, just as every working person in America does every day.

  2. cpace2016

    Great minds think alike, I suppose. I think the lede was a little clunky, but overall a good piece. The only other thing I noticed was you started sentences with “but” and “and,” which is generally frowned upon (although I think in the lede it serves a pretty good purpose). Pointing out the fact that kids look up to these guys is the heavy hitter–parents all over the country are having to answer questions about strippers and alcohol because the news is everywhere. I think you ended it in just about the best way possible. Pointing out that they represent more than just themselves really gets to the root of the problem. Well done.


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