Over the few weeks several more NFL athletes joined a growing offseason arrest tally that has now eclipsed two dozen. The summer of 2012 is quickly becoming the most crime-filled in league history.
From Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson facing a misdemeanor charge for resisting arrest at a nightclub to Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant allegedly assaulting his mother, a spike in incidents has pulled the spotlight away from impending training camps.
Minnesota governor Mark Dayton defended Peterson on Minnesota Public Radio on Tuesday, calling the four-time Pro Bowl back “an upstanding citizen and really fine role model.”
Then he drew a curious parallel to explain the cause of the legal troubles that often crop off for football players in the offseason.
“It’s basically slightly civilized war, and then they take that into society, much as soldiers come back, and they’ve been in combat or the edge of it and then suddenly that adjustment back to civilian life is a real challenge,” Dayton said via the Associated Press.
Clearly, that would explain Marshawn Lynch’s DUI charge, which resulted from him nearly hitting two other vehicles while driving in the wrong lane on an Oakland, Calif. highway.
And working in a “civilized war” environment is obviously what led Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil to allegedly pull out a gun during an argument with another driver while both vehicles were stuck in Miami Beach traffic.
During last summer’s lockout, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis made an argument similar to Dayon’s “idle hands” statement when he warned of a possible spike in crime should the lockout continue into the season.
“Do this research if we don’t have a season — watch how much evil, which we call crime, watch how much crime picks up, if you take away our game,” Lewis told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio last May. “There’s nothing else to do.”
Newsflash: The NFL lockout ended nearly one year ago, but the off-the-field issues for players continue.
And while NFL player names are sprouting up in headlines for the wrong reasons, heavy-handed commissioner Roger Goodell has been conspicuously quiet. Did all that doling out of discipline during the fallout from the New Orleans Saints’ Bountygate scandal shatter Goodell’s gavel? Or is this simply the quiet before a storm of fines and suspensions for player conduct?
One thing is clear, Goodell’s tactics don’t seem to be curbing the arrests. So much for “respecting the shield.”