With the startling arrest and subsequent murder charge of former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez, the focus on players’ off-season trouble has been in the spotlight more than ever. There were 30+ arrests of NFL players between the end of last season and now, a number that is up 75% from last year. Which begs the question is this a recent trend, or an issue that has always plagued the league?
2013 is on track to be the NFL’s most turbulent year in regards to off-field incidents. In stats provided by SeatCrunch.com (information only dates back to 2000) arrests have generally declined since peaking in 2006 and not surprisingly most of the incidents were considered victimless and stemmed from DUI’s.
When dealing with the criminal justice system it always important to remember that it is supposed to be built on the premise that one is innocent until proven guilty, and to note than an arrest does not mean guilt. So, how many of these arrests resulted in conviction? So far this year players arrested have only been acquitted eight time, and over the past five years the acquittal rate was only 26.88%.
Please go to SeatCrunch to see some other interesting statistics like which teams have had the most players arrested and what positions are more likely to get into trouble.
I must note that the majority of NFL athletes are upstanding citizens that give a ton to their community, but the recent trend is not good for the NFL and most importantly the players. Can some of these arrests be unjust…of course, but at what point do grown men start making better decisions. At what point do they stop surrounding themselves with yes men and women that won’t check them when they see them doing or about to do something that would be detrimental to themselves, their career, and others? At what point do they stop and think about how what they do now will affect them in the future? At what time do they stop being statistics?