Justin Blackmon Says the Right Things, Now It's Time to Do the Right Things

Nate DunlevyGuest ColumnistJune 7, 2012

Blackmon will improve as a player and as a man.
Blackmon will improve as a player and as a man.Rick Dole/Getty Images

Justin Blackmon spoke to the media yesterday about his recent arrest for DUI.

His remarks were brief, but refreshing. He showed contrition and did not evade his circumstances.

Blackmon did well to own up to his wrongdoing without resorting to the biggest cop out words in sports (and life), "I made a mistake."

As I've mentioned before, Blackmon did not make a mistake. He committed a crime. Recognizing that fact is the first step toward rehabilitation.

Note the language Blackmon used:

"...that because of what I did, the decision I made..."

"...I just think I made a poor choice. I put myself in a bad situation. It’s completely my fault, and I just gotta make better judgment on that."

"...the selfish decision that I made..."

These words are critical. They show that Blackmon understands and owns up to his actions. He made a choice, not a mistake. He acted selfishly and has no one to blame but himself. He made a choice to embrace "night life" instead of worrying about all the people in his life that look up to him and depend on him.

Phrases like Blackmon used are not popular. Judging by the comments from readers, there are those who don't think that DUI is a serious crime. There are those who think Blackmon owes nothing to anyone.

It's good to know that Blackmon doesn't agree with them.

These incidents don't have to define this young man. He can change. He can do better. He's not a worse person than anyone else because he acted immaturely, foolishly and selfishly.

Blackmon's future is wide open, but taking responsibility for the past, fully apologizing for his crimes and using the right words was a great first step.

No matter how tortured he was yesterday by publicly addressing his actions, he'll find that saying the right things is always easier than doing the right things.

Blackmon has committed to avoid drinking and to changing his behavior. The first is a wise decision, the second is a necessary one.

Blackmon is lucky he was arrested on Sunday night and not killed. He has a second chance on life.

If his actions match his words, this ugly incident won't be the final chapter of his story.

It will be the first chapter of a great lesson in victory.