Tom Brady reached out to Donte' Stallworth on day of accident

In the early morning hours of March 14, 2009, Donte’ Stallworth was driving while under the influence of alcohol when his car struck and killed a 59-year-old man named Mario Reyes.

Once the news of the accident broke that day, Stallworth received a message of support from Tom Brady, his quarterback in 2007 when he played for the New England Patriots.

A lot of people know the kind of person you are,” Brady told Stallworth via text message, according to Peter King of SI.com. “You’re a good person.”

King spent some time talking to Stallworth last week and details their conversation in today’s Monday Morning Quarterback column. In addition to talking about the support he got from Brady, Stallworth discussed the fact that he spent only 24 days in jail for the crime.

“I understood why people were angry about the sentence,” said Stallworth. “I understand human psychology; I majored in psychology at Tennessee. Everyone wants every story to be black and white, but sometime they’re not. It was an intricate case. People hear ‘alcohol’ and they hear ‘deceased’ and they tie the two together. But this case just wasn’t that easy. I can tell you from being in the middle of it, the police did extensive investigation into the case, and they had no reason to let me off easy.”

Stallworth also said he tried to make productive use of those 24 days by spending it reading and writing.

“They don’t give you a schedule in there,” he said. “When the lights go off, they go off. But I wanted to make sure this was not a period of despondency for me. I wanted to learn from it, and read and write. I also met a lot of guys in there who were great to me. They’ve written me since. I never had a high level of anxiety in there, and a lot of the guys basically told me, You don’t want to be in here; go live life.”

38 responses to “Tom Brady reached out to Donte' Stallworth on day of accident

  1. Wow. Not sure what type of person Donte is, but it sure is refreshing to hear an athlete (or anyone for that matter) converse in a thoughtful, articulate manner. It gives one hope that he can learn from such a horrible mistake.

  2. Football is not the profession for someone who killed somebody via drunk driving.
    Being a long time senator from Ma is.

  3. translation? I got trashed with Braylon Edwards the night after my huge roster bonus kicked in, drove home drunk, and killed a man illegally walking across the street, but it was his fault.

  4. Sounds as though he’s a good guy but I still can’t get over the fact that he only spent 24 days in jail for killing someone, doesn’t make sense.

  5. Wow it’s nice to hear Tom Brady took some time away from banging his supermodel wife to message the guy.
    Jokes aside, that’s a pretty nice gesture. I have a bit more respect for Tom.

  6. Is it supposed to be admirable that Brady comforts drunken killers? Stallworth wasn’t a teammate, so this wasn’t the automatic ‘ team’ support thing kicking in. This was thoughtful support of a drunk who got caught with a dead body in his grill.

  7. You got to love the 21st Century. Reaching out = typing a heart felt message in 160 characters or less. You don’t even have to talk or keep a straight face.

  8. I think everyone just likes to talk crap. no one wants to say, because a man died, that possibly it was both their faults, the man was crossing from between cars and couldnt be seen, i think it could happen to anyone.

  9. “Luckily for me, that dude I killed while wasted behind the wheel was jaywalking…whew!”
    “Anyway, I’ll never forget the kindness and wisdom of guys like Tom Brady and my lawyer who said..people know you’re not the kind of guy who would drive drunk and kill a guy crossing the street at a designated crosswalk…no way, man”

  10. He’s right and makes his point well. If the guy was just standing on a curb and Stallworth drove off the road and killed him, he would be 100% wrong. As it is, the guy ran out in the middle of a highway; he broke a law by doing that. Had Stallworth been more sober, he may have been able to react quicker, but there is no doubt that this incident is as he says – not black and white with one clear villain.

  11. Stallworth sounds like a good guy who made a tragic mistake. He’s accepted responsibility for his actions (unlike other players) and truly deserves another chance. Good for him and I’m glad his friends reached out to him.

  12. # KnuckleBucket says: April 5, 2010 10:13 AM
    Sounds as though he’s a good guy but I still can’t get over the fact that he only spent 24 days in jail for killing someone, doesn’t make sense.
    When you ask why did he only get 24 days in jail the reason is quite simple his actions in Florida were not a felony. In Floirda to prove vehicular manslaughter the state would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Stallworth’s being intoxicated the was the proximate cause of the accident. Which given the facts was virtually impossible. Because of that they really had no choice but to give a reduced sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.
    The state really should have never filed felony charges against Stallworth as they should have known they could not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. But given the publicity of the case its likely they felt they had no choice.

  13. so americas pretty boy tom brady gives words of encouragement to stallworth and u guys applaud him but mcnabb gives words of encouragement to cutler and u guys roasted him

  14. “The Real Shuxion says:
    April 5, 2010 10:11 AM
    Football is not the profession for someone who killed somebody via drunk driving.
    Being a long time senator from Ma is.”
    Douche Bag.

  15. PFT makes a living culling stories from other sources. This story was a total ass-kisser-clicker to Peter King. Of all that Peter wrote, the comment about Tom Brady was the last tidbit in a long article. It really had nothing to do with King’s story, but this internet hack made it a headline here just to attract the Pats fans who have nothing better to do but read the internet while at work ( if they have a job).

  16. If you read the whole SI.com article it explains his sentence a little more. The court had to look at the fact that Reyes was crossing a busy highway, in poor light, and not in a cross walk. While this does not make drinking and driving acceptable it is still something that has to be considered in the case. Make the most of your second chance Donte we all deserve one.

  17. That’s because Tom Brady is actually a great guy, despite what the worlds stupidest fans* think.
    Just because a guy gets a girl pregnant and decides not to stay with her JUST FOR THAT REASON, it doesn’t mean he’s a bad person. It means he doesn’t want his kid to grow up with parents who are together for the wrong reasons.
    *Jets fans, Colts fans, Steelers fans etc…

  18. PFTiswhatitis
    My thoughts exactly.
    but, i guess becasue the republican resume is so clean he can feel free to run his mouth on a football site.
    Next time i want to hear about how global warming isnt happening, homosexuality is anti-family, death panels will kill your grandmother, or I want some positive spin on how the RNC and Steele can spend 2k+ at a bondage/lesbian based sex club in hollywood I will turn on fox news.
    Point: Lets keep PFT about football please

  19. Or, being President of the Unites States *Bush(although he cheated both times to win) Drunk driving arrest, which he tried to conceal. And, the fact that he spent the Vietnam years in the National Guard, drinking himself under the table in an Alabama bar*
    But, it’s nice to know Tom is your typical New England, bleeding heart liberal.

  20. FreeAgentPro says:
    April 5, 2010 10:47 AM
    this internet hack made it a headline here just to attract the Pats fans who have nothing better to do but read the internet while at work ( if they have a job).
    ***************************************
    So I guess you’re taking a break from curing cancer to read and post this idiocy.

  21. WarrenMoonGOAT says:
    so americas pretty boy tom brady gives words of encouragement to stallworth and u guys applaud him but mcnabb gives words of encouragement to cutler and u guys roasted him
    _______________________________________
    You must be ugly and lonely. It’s gotten to the point where everything you write just sounds like white noise.

  22. @Zinn
    I hear what you’re saying. Following the letter of the law, maybe it was right. I’m just saying in general that 24 days for killing someone while driving drunk seems as though he’s getting off kind of easy. I am a pats fan and loved having Stallworth on my team. From all the interviews before and after this accident he seems like an intelligent man with good intentions. i just feel that killing someone whether they were jay walking or not deserves more punishment then 24 days if you were intoxicated at the time of the incident.

  23. He’s gonna have an awesome year with Flacco throwing bombs to him. I’m guessing he’s gonna get 12-15 TD’s this year, probably 3-4 against those “stellar” Stooler corners…

  24. I resent the contention that a senator from MA accidentally killed an innocent girl because he was drunk. It was no accident.
    As far as Brady’s message; we all would likely do the same thing if our friend found themselves in similar circumstances. It’s not like Stallworth’s act was premeditated, like that of the senator from MA was.

  25. The facts are that Mr. Reyes jay-walked, which is illegal and dangerous.
    It was a across a 4-lane expressway with a posted speed limit of 40.
    There is video (sealed by the judge) of the accident which shows stallworth driving normal, and Mr Reyes darting out in front of the car.
    That is why he spent 24 hours in jail. BTW, he did lose his license for life and is on probation for a long time.
    But the same thing could happen to you, intoxicated or not. While pedestrians have the right of way, they also need to follow the rules of the road for their own safety.
    And yes, he’s paying the Reyes family. He was involved in and accident that took away a father and primary breadwinner, and Stalworth is / was a millionaire. Makes sense.

  26. @KnuckleBucket-
    You’d have a point if Mr. Reyes’ death was a direct result of Stallworth’s actions. They weren’t. Mr. Reyes ran across oncoming traffic in a part of the road he wasn’t even supposed to be in. It’s possible the accident could have happened regardless of Stallworth’s sobriety. It’s not like he was swerving and clipped him while he was on the sidewalk. This was really nothing more than bad luck.

  27. Sparta.. so your telling me if you or I were drinking n driving n hit a man.. we would spend a mere 24hrs in jail? Give me a break.drinkin n driving is a CRIME regardless how you spin it.

  28. “I understood why people were angry about the sentence,” said Stallworth. “I understand human psychology; I majored in psychology at Tennessee. ”
    —————-
    You also never graduated….
    At the American Football Coaches Association’s urging, the NCAA is considering a policy change that would allow junior football players to rescind their declarations to enter the draft within 72 hours, provided they do not retain an agent.
    Stallworth’s request to have his senior year reinstated was denied, he finally dropped the matter in February, and he is one of 38 juniors eligible for this weekend’s draft. Had his appeal been upheld, it’s likely he would have been forced to miss up to four games during his senior season because he accepted money from an agent.
    “I’ve learned that once you make a decision, regardless of what other people think, ultimately, it’s your decision,” Stallworth said over lunch recently at a restaurant on the banks of the Tennessee River and in the shadow of Neyland Stadium. “You’re the one who has to live with it. I knew after I made my decision the second time, not to appeal, that I didn’t want to hang around and wait on another (NCAA) decision that would have taken up to six weeks. And I sure didn’t want to miss any games during my senior year.
    “I told my guys it was hard for me to do, but I had to do what was best for me,” he said of talks with teammates. “But I still wish the best for them.”
    “Before I left to come here from college, I told my mom I was going to stay four years and get my degree,” recalled Stallworth, who redshirted as a freshman. “I don’t have my degree, but I stayed four years. I guess I got half the promise right.”

  29. Bad people make mistakes as well. But by no means he should have only spent 24 days in jail. I don’t care if he was a saint. He should pay the price the average person who doesn’t make 8.5 mill a year. The system works if you have money. He should give the family half his new signing bonus.

  30. Wow, possibly the smartest comments I have ever read from a professional athlete. The guy is obviously self aware and introspective. Maybe that’s why he’s never turned the corner in the NFL, maybe his intelligence gets in the way of his athletic ability.

  31. Jail is for criminals, Stallworth isn’t a criminal. He had 4 shots, 4. I don’t know about you but 4 shots may elevate my blood alcohol level but doesn’t make me drunk. This man jay-walked in an unsafe location. Stallworth paid restitution in the millions. He paid for his mistake. I am amazed hearing the mouth breathers here speak as if he is a bad person.

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