Roger Goodell, David Stern, Bud Selig, and Gary Bettman, your players need you to protect them from themselves. After another alcohol related arrest Sunday, professional sports needs a serious talking to.
Colts' defensive linemen John Gill was found lying in a ditch on the 3600 block of Lafayette Road at about 4 a.m. Sunday, according to a police report. He was arrested and later released after a public intoxication charge was dropped.
Colts' brass say they are aware that Gill, 23, was charged but will not make any comment on the incident. Gill apparently had trouble standing, reeked of alcohol, and was slurring his words. This is just another example of how athletes are not taking their responsibilities as professionals and role models seriously.
It seems like we are reminded weekly that more money apparently does mean more problems. These athletes get paid a very handsome sum regularly and tend to put themselves in tight spots with alcohol and/or drug related crimes.
Whether it was more recently with the likes of Gill, Donte' Stallworth, Vincent Jackson or in the past, with guys like Steve Foley, Jeff Garcia, or even Jim McMahon, driving under the influence or public intoxication charges are suddenly becoming the norm.
It would make sense that these professional athletes would want to, on occasion, consume an alcoholic beverage or two. They are adults, they have their rights, and they are more than welcome to indulge in such activities.
Should the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL do more to prevent alcohol related crimes?
When they get behind the wheel, however, they not only put themselves and others in danger with this kind of behavior, they set bad examples for those who look up to them.
After Gill's arrest Sunday, this is a more subtle wake-up call but a wake-up call nonetheless. Apparently, Leonard Little and Stallworth's DUI manslaughter cases, weren't enough for the commissioners of professional sports.
NFL Commissioner Goodell has cleaned up the NFL quite a bit during his tenure. Stern should perform seminars on how to be a commissioner because he is the cream of the crop. Selig hasn't always been the most popular but he has gotten lucky a time or two. As for Bettman, well... um. Anyway, the point is this, the hierarchy of professional sports must address this issue before any additional damage is done.
Suspensions and fines are not enough anymore, at least not in the current format or in the level of severity. I am not talking about lifetime bans or community service; preëmptive measures need to be taken to deter athletes from partaking in such foolish and dangerous behavior.
For example, potentially placing criminal clauses in each contract that state if such actions occur more than once that individual's contract could be voided by the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL.
If such clauses were a part of every contract in every sport, it would dramatically decrease the number of incidents. This, however unlikely, could clean up professional sports across the board.