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The 5 O'Clock Club: Are NFL players out of control off the field?

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It’s 5 o’clock somewhere...

This week, Sports Illustrated published a story about Clinton Portis in which the former running back admits that he was once prepared to commit murder, and that he would have if circumstances had been just a little different:

Ray Rice knocked out his fiance in an elevator. Adrian Peterson seemed genuinely perplexed that people thought he’d done something wrong by whipping his son across the buttocks & thighs with “a switch”. Ray Lewis performed at a high level on the field, but many people feel he should have been in a jail cell instead. Aaron Hernandez probably set a new standard with his conviction for cold-blooded murder.

Are NFL players more violent than the general population? And if they are, should fans accept that kind of behavior?

In a fairly small universe of players (we’re talking less than 2,000 active players), it seems that NFL players have more than their fair share of incidents involving violence and bad judgement. The range of issues includes players driving under the influence (despite most teams offering free transport services to players who need them), shooting themselves in the leg at nightclubs, and a variety of brawls outside of bars and on beaches.

One of the more recent incidents that occurred in this off-season involved the high-profile Darrelle Revis. On February 16, 2017, Revis was involved in a street brawl in Pittsburgh around 2:40 a.m. Revis was suspected to have attacked two men, knocking them unconscious, according to media reports. It isn’t murder, but the number of “red flag” events that seem to occur among NFL players seems to be incredibly high when compared to the general population.

Is this a real problem that fans should be concerned about?

Should the knowledge that Clinton Portis was ready to commit murder change our perception of him?

Is there a problem with a system that thrusts fame, fortune and admiration on 22 year old college graduates because of their ability to play a physically brutal game? And is it fair to expect those young men to live their lives outside of football by a different set of rules?

Poll

Why do NFL players seem to be so violent and have such bad judgement?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Too much money & fame at too young an age
    (68 votes)
  • 47%
    Stop reading the headlines! Kirk Cousins is more typical than Aaron Hernandez
    (61 votes)
129 votes total Vote Now