The still-unnamed member of the Green Bay Packers who is under investigation for sexual assault reportedly has admitted having sexual contact with the alleged victims. (Yes, victims.) However, the player claims that the contact with the two women was consensual, according to Charles Davis of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
The women claim there was no consent. The women also initially claimed that more than one player was involved. Police interviewed seven Packers; six of them are not suspected of criminal misconduct.
The unnamed player becomes the third NFL player accused of sexual assault in less than a year. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has faced two such claims. A civil suit filed earlier this year alleges that Colts defensive tackle Eric Foster sexually assaulted a hotel worker on the morning of the AFC Championship in January.
Though the six-game suspension imposed on Roethlisberger likely will trigger speculation that the unnamed Packer will face similar treatment even without an arrest, keep in mind that the league looks to pounce preemptively only on repeat offenders.
“If somebody’s showing a pattern of behavior and a series of misjudgments, we should find out what that is and try to deal with the problem,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told me during an interview that will appear in the upcoming PFT Season Preview magazine. “I’m not going to wait for somebody to get thrown into jail.”
In this case, the unnamed Packer could get thrown in jail. But the league most likely won’t intervene until the matter is resolved, unless the player in question has prior issues under the Personal Conduct Policy.