Chicago, IL- Jeez, when are these NFL guys ever going to learn? Being a successful and high-paid athlete doesn’t excuse you from following the laws and isn’t going to keep you from being arrested if you drink and drive. The latest NFL player to get caught for drunken driving is the Bears’ Evan Rodriguez who was arrested over the weekend, his second alcohol-related arrest this year.
Rodriguez, who has been with the Bears since 2012, was pulled over on I-90 near Hubbart Street around 3:30 a.m. Friday night for speeding and an improper lane change when the officer noticed he appeared to be intoxicated. A police report showed his blood alcohol content was .17, a little over twice the legal limit for Illinois.
On Monday, Rodriguez released a statement expressing his remorse, “I want to apologize to the entire Bears organization, my teammates, coaches and Bears fans everywhere. I realize that I made a very poor decision. I know that more is expected of me and that I let a lot of people down that are counting on me. I will make positive changes in my life so that this doesn’t happen again.”
According to the Chicago Sun Times, this was Rodriguez’s second arrest this off-season. In March, the 24 year-old was arrested in Miami for public intoxication and resisting arrest without violence, but those charges were soon dropped.
Rodriguez is just one of the several NFL players to busted for drunk driving, so far this year there have several players cited, including Armonty Bryant of the Cleveland Browns, Josh Portis of the Seattle Seahawks, Titus Young, formerly of the Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints’ Joe Morgan, just to name a few.
Who knows what these athletes are thinking, maybe they feel as invincible on the road as they do on the field, but they aren’t. Thus far only one NFL player has been killed in a DUI accident– Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Brown died after his teammate Josh Brent flipped his Mercedes while driving drunk last fall– but that’s one too many lives lost. That happened to be Brent’s second DUI arrest; his first was in 2009.
Studies have shown that at least half of all first-time DUI offenders are doomed to repeat the offense the legal ramifications are clearly not enough to discourage this bad behavior.
Hey NFL players, you guys make millions of dollars, why don’t settle for a little less bling or one less fancy car and spring the extra $20 bucks for a cab. Better yet why not just call the free driving service provided by your employers? Your fans hold you in high esteem, so why not show you deserve that respect by acting responsibly?
And the NFL needs to quit just giving these guys a slap on the wrist, isn’t one dead player enough to get tougher on these athletes who chose to break the law and put theirs and other’s lives at risk. A two game suspension and drug and alcohol education aren’t proving to be effective deterrents.
Maybe a NFL Drunk Driving Hall of Fame would be better to get these players’ attention about the dangers of driving under the influence; there would certainly be enough entries and if sanctions won’t work maybe the shame will.