NFL: The Chain Gang League

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The National Football League is the premier sports league in America; unfortunately, it is also home to the most criminals in sports.

The NFL is swamped with players who have a criminal record of some sort, whether it is battery, drug abuse, dog fighting, assault cases, or even shooting yourself in the leg, the crime rate among NFL players is way too high.

This summer of 2013 had crime such as the Aaron Hernandez murder case, Titus Young was arrested for driving under the influence and breaking into a home, and even Rolando McClain was taken in for resisting arrest.

The Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals have over 80 arrests combined, as well as over 300 total arrests in the NFL since 2000.

No player in the NFL, with the amount they get paid, can be dumb enough to put their wealth and reputation at risk, yet players continue to get arrested. No man who plays a game for a living is above the law. Whether you agree with certain laws or not, as a person who is paid to represent an organization, you cannot put your contract on the line.

The average crime rate for the NFL is about 3 percent compared to 11 percent crime rate among American men according to FBI crime data back in 2009. This statistic has been used by non-believers of the NFL crime wave, saying that the distance between the two percents prove that the crime wave in the NFL is far overblown. This is not a valid argument, since there are 151.8 million men living in the U.S. according to the 2012 demographic, whereas there are only 1,696 players in the NFL. It is an incomparable argument to compare athletes to the average man, because the sad truth is that they are not.

These players are playing a game that they have most likely dreamed about playing since they were kids, and they think they are above the rest of society. If the average worker were to get arrested, they would lose their job. An NFL player will receive a slap on the wrist. That goes for all professional athletes; they are treated like juveniles by their superiors and like gods by their fans. Any player who tries to relate to the average person is dead wrong, because they are no better than the rich owners that they bash when they are not getting paid enough or when they hold out for a better contract.

Although the large majority of the crimes by NFL players do not require a large or any type of jail time, an arrest is an arrest. The NFL needs to be stricter with suspensions and fines for when a player gets arrested and not leave it in the hands of the team that controls his contract.

Besides the Hernandez case, the NFL has not issued any statements on players being arrested this offseason or during the lockout in 2012.