Donte Stallworth Deserves Suspension for DUI Death

Richard ZowieCorrespondent IJune 19, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 7:   Donte Stallworth #18 of the Cleveland Browns carries the ball during the game against the Tennessee Titans on December 7, 2008 at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It looks like some sanity exists in the NFL.

That's because NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has indefinitely suspended Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth.

Stallworth recently pleaded guilty to criminal charges involving his drunk driving and his killing of a pedestrian. He received 30 days in jail, 10 years probation, 1,000 hours community service, and has paid the victim's family an undisclosed amount.

Thirty days in jail seems like a slap on the wrist. I had a relative who, back in 2001, was killed by a drunk driver. The driver was an illegal immigrant, had no license or insurance, and had just left a party where there was apparently no effort to keep him from driving even though he was far above the legal limit. The driver received 15 years in prison and will be deported once he serves his time.

The driver who killed my relative, obviously, couldn't afford high-priced attorneys. He also wasn't an NFL athlete who made lots of money. That probably explains why he went to prison.

I joke a lot in my blog postings, but I see little to laugh about now. I would hope that Stallworth will learn from his lesson and see that an irresponsible use of alcohol has caused him to take something from someone he can never give back.

How long will he be suspended? How about a year? Adam "Pacman" Jones had to sit out a year for unsavory activities off the football field, but he's never been charged with intoxicated manslaughter.

The NFL's thrown the book at Michael Vick for his part in wasting animals' lives, why not Stallworth?

Perhaps Goodell could fine Stallworth a hefty sum and then send that sum to help pay the medical bills of Jacqui Saburido, a young Venezuelan lady horribly burned from injuries suffered in Texas at the hands of a drunk driver.

I blogged recently about a former NFL athlete who was acquitted on DUI charges due to lack of evidence. Well, it turns out the athlete refused field sobriety tests. One person who commented told me he had a right to refuse. Sounds more like a scam, and it exemplifies why DUI (which in my experience as a reporter, happens practically daily in America) is such a problem here.

Donte' Stallworth may lose his job with the Browns, but Mario Reyes lost his life.

If you drink, all I ask is that you do so responsibly. Otherwise, this insanity will continue.