An eye-opening item from WCCO (via Yahoo.com) should cause NFL fans to reassess the perception that players who wear orange-and-black stripes are the most likely to wear orange and/or stripes.
Since 2000 (seven years before we began tracking all incidents), the Vikings have 36 arrests. The Bengals have 35. The recent arrest of cornerback Chris Cook has given the Vikings the lead in this dubious race.
The item from Jason DeRusha, which relies on the database maintained by the San Diego Union-Tribune, also points out that the arrest rate among NFL players since 2000 is one in 45 players. According to the FBI, the arrest rate for the general population in 2009 was one in 23. Also, the NFL had the lowest arrest rate for all major league sports in 2010.
That’s great, but Commissioner Roger Goodell repeatedly has said that the NFL holds its players and other employees to a higher standard. So the ultimate goal is to have an arrest rate of zero percent.
And that’s not an unreasonable expectation. Men who have the skill to play pro football have, at least during their careers, the financial resources to avoid trouble. They all should aspire to do so.
That’s why we track the incidents and maintain a “Days Without an Arrest” meter. Notoriety and public accountability will, for maybe some of the players who may be inclined to find trouble, serve as an additional factor that may encourage them to avoid bad situations.
In four-plus years of using the meter, the all-time record is 32. If it ever gets to 100, we’ll take it down.
In other words, it’s likely that we’ll never have to take it down.