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.