After Dark: Why Players Continue To Get In Trouble

May 28th, 2014

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“If you haven’t got her number by 1130, then it’s not happening; so go home”, is a quote stated by former NFL Player and Coach Herm Edwards every year at the NFL Rookie Symposium. Former players and coaches will all gather to teach this young players how they are expected to conduct themselves in the NFL; in hopes that they don’t follow the coward and end up in the trap that we have seen many players in different leagues, always end up in.

No matter the sport, each year we hear about professional and collegiate athletes ending up somewhere that they should have never been. The usual times we hear about this bone headed acts, usual seem to be between the hours of midnight until 4am. In the cultural we live in today, players are groomed at such a young age, that once they reach these two levels they feel that they are untouchable and will find a way to defeat the system. Jamies Winston from Florida State University was accused of raping a young woman, was found to be not associated with this woman in any shape or form. Johnny Manziel, was found cited for receiving benefits from outside sources, signing autographs and other memorabilia at a nightclub while playing at Texas A&M. Donte Stallworth is player that left a night club intoxicated beyond the league limit that hit and killed a elderly man in Miami, Florida. After the case was completed, Stallworth served 30 days in jail and paid a fine; granted he did feel a great deal of remorse and ensured that this man family was taken care of, but the fact remains, he defeated the system. A typical American would have, most likely, served 10 plus years in prison, or received the death penalty. Although, their are players that don’t get so lucky into receiving a “lighter” sentence. Aaron Hernandez, is a player currently now awaiting trail for the murder of a semi-pro player and now being indicted on charges related to a murder a year prior. Darren Shaper is currently being accused and charged with rape and domestic violence charges in varies states by women he met while being out late at night.

Regardless of the status of a player, professional athletes in most sports, seem to find themselves in a situation of some kind from being after hours. Teams have protocols in place for these types of situations; whether related to alcohol, drugs, prostitution, or other circumstances that can be viewed as illegal, but are not able to catch everything. At the end of the day, it is up to the player to take responsible for their actions, or suffer the same reality that many have seen take away the dream they yearned to have for so long.