It’s rare that a top-five draft pick gets arrested before he signs his rookie deal. It’s even more rare that any NFL player gets arrested for DUI with an alleged blood-alcohol concentration that triples the legal limit.
That’s what makes the case of Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon particularly compelling. Making it even more intriguing is the silence that has emanated from both the team and Blackmon since the arrest.
But that could change later this week. According to Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union, Blackmon “likely” will hold a news conference later this week.
He’ll need to choose his words carefully, because the “anything you say can and will be used against you” routine applies to anything and everything he says, in any setting. And it’s a lot easier to prove what he said when he says it into a microphone wired to a device that records what he said, while he’s saying it.
In Oklahoma, Payne County District Attorney Tom Lee says that Blackmon won’t be getting the opportunity to plead to a reduced charge of reckless driving, per Stellino. And that makes sense. Though plenty of celebrities and pro athletes enjoy the benefits from time to time of authorities who look the other way, sometimes the deterrent purpose of law enforcement is best served via the aggressive prosecution of someone with a high degree of name recognition. Throwing the proverbial book at Blackmon (like New York prosecutors did with receiver Plaxico Burress when he shot himself in the leg) will let many know of the consequences drunk driving, sending a strong message not only in Stillwater, but from sea to shining sea.
Surely contributing to the decision to pursue Blackmon aggressively is the contention that he failed to yield for four blocks when police tried to pull him over, that he was argumentative, and that he said, “I just flew in. I don’t know why you are harassing me.”
Then there’s the fact that Blackmon had to be told four times to keep his hands out of his pockets, behavior which when committed in the presence of the wrong cop can get a guy shot.
Regardless of how this plays out, here’s hoping Blackmon gets whatever help he may need in order to avoid the kind of decision-making that makes a guy drink enough to have a 0.24 percent BAC — and that makes him then get behind the wheel of a car.