The NFL has had two players arrested and charged with drunken driving in the last two weekends, and there have been a slew of off-field legal entanglements for players.
Now, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is reminding teams about the importance of off-field behavior. The memo, reported by Mike Freeman of cbssports.com, comes at a good time. All 32 teams will be closing minicamps this week or next – setting players free for roughly six weeks before training camps open. That leaves them with a lot of free time – time they should use wisely.
Per Freeman, the memo was sent to all 32 teams and entitled “Responsibility and Safety.”
“There have been several negative law enforcement incidents in recent months involving both players and non-player employees. These incidents primarily have involved alcohol or drug-related offenses, specifically driving while impaired. Clearly, operating a vehicle under the influence of any substance poses a significant risk of injury to the driver and others. These risks are underscored by well-known tragedies within the NFL family.
“The Personal Conduct Policy makes clear that we must all conduct ourselves in a manner that is “responsible, that promotes the values upon which the league is based, and is lawful.” Every negative incident undermines the respect we have earned from our fans, erodes the confidence of our business partners and threatens the continued success of the league.
“As your club concludes its mini-camp, it is essential that you take time to reinforce this message with your staff and players.”
For the entire memo, see Freeman’s report. Hopefully it does more than fall on deaf ears.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune