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Report: League’s Safe Rides program is no more

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Quietly, it’s gotten slightly more difficult for NFL players who have had too much to drink to get home without having to drive.

Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com reports that the league’s Safe Rides program, which provided free rides for players how believed they had had too much to drink, has been disbanded.

As Freeman explains it, the NFL handed the keys to the union in 2009 due to concerns that the league was using the service to spy on players.  But, per Freeman, the NFLPA didn’t publicize the service so fewer players used it so the NFLPA eventually quit providing it.

Now, the function is provided, if at all, by the individual teams.

It would make sense for all parties involved for the league and the union to jointly resurrect the program, with both sides working together to ensure that no player will have his use of the service used against him.  It would also make sense to get it back together ASAP, since offseason programs are ending and players will be left to their own devices until training camp.

Until the league, the union, and the teams come up with a viable and reliable solution, NFL players will have to act like the rest of us and have the presence of mind to call a cab.  We hope they can afford the fare.

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50 Responses to “Report: League’s Safe Rides program is no more”
  1. billinva says: Jun 9, 2012 8:08 PM

    What a stupid situation. On everyone’s part.

  2. papaweedandtrich says: Jun 9, 2012 8:11 PM

    Now how are Detroit Lion players gonna get home?

  3. snap0179 says: Jun 9, 2012 8:15 PM

    Maybe the league should consider rebranding it the ‘Justin Blackmon Express’

  4. steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says: Jun 9, 2012 8:15 PM

    Well, no one was using it.

  5. johnnyjagfan says: Jun 9, 2012 8:22 PM

    Safe Ride of America is a non-profit that’ll take you and your car home. Its basically cab fare plus a few bucks. You ride in your front seat and someone drives you with a chase car. Very reliable. Players should get involved and get a deal where they get them going in their towns. Helping a non-profit, promoting safety in driving sober and most importantly, having that $100k car they drive in their driveway in the morning, without the guilt. Or worse.

  6. worldwidebleater says: Jun 9, 2012 8:24 PM

    Cedric Benson is trying to hail a water taxi as we speak.

  7. sabatimus says: Jun 9, 2012 8:27 PM

    If NFL players are getting drunk as hell and getting behind the wheel anyway instead of calling a cab or taking public transit, what makes anyone think they’d use the service even if it had been publicized?

  8. zaggs says: Jun 9, 2012 8:36 PM

    This is the League’s responsibility how exactly? Players blame everyone on the league and refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions.

  9. kd75 says: Jun 9, 2012 8:38 PM

    This is…um…NOT INTELLIGENT.

    If this program can save one life. Either a player or whomever they may kill driving drunk. It is worth the investment.

    Spend more money publicizing the fact that this program exists. Its the best work-related fringe benefit I’ve ever heard of for all parties involved.

  10. beerbudsnbevo says: Jun 9, 2012 8:41 PM

    Anybody else out there have their bosses pay for a cab after you been out all night drinkin that Crystal, makin’ it rain up in the club?

    Yeah…me neither

  11. kd75 says: Jun 9, 2012 8:43 PM

    The NFLPA should drill into every rookies head from Day 1: “Hey Stupid. Don’t Drive Drunk. Ever. Don’t do it. If you think you drank too much. You drank too much. Call this number and we will get you home safe.”

  12. hedleykow says: Jun 9, 2012 8:45 PM

    The Safe Rides program discontinued operations once it was determined their cars were not capable of reaching the required cruising speed of 135 mph for NFL players.

  13. jimmysee says: Jun 9, 2012 8:50 PM

    re: “spying on players.”

    NFLPA paranoia in the end hurts its members.

    And I’m a union member.

  14. shaggytoodle says: Jun 9, 2012 8:51 PM

    Don’t take my keys when the party is over, I drive better drunk, then you do sober.

    Just kidding, they shouldn’t need a safe ride program, many people manage to avoid drinking and driving by planning ahead. They also do it without the benefit of a 6 figure job, which would allow you to take a limo, prett much anywhere you want which makes it that much more foolish and annoying when you hear them gettting in all that trouble.

  15. ilovefoolsball says: Jun 9, 2012 8:53 PM

    Yes because millionaires need help finding a ride unlike the rest of the general public that gets wasted.

    Give me a break.

  16. spearsnva says: Jun 9, 2012 9:00 PM

    If these overpaid babies had an IQ above single digit. They would call a cab or have a DD like any person with a brain.

    If your not smart enough to do the above. Suffer the consequences like the rest of the population.

    Cincy and Detroit I see trouble in your future.

  17. dryzzt23 says: Jun 9, 2012 9:09 PM

    PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

    apparently NFL players have never heard of such a thing.
    The NFL doesn’t have to provide squat to keep players from making stupid mistakes. Your union has failed you as well.
    In high school and college, it was drilled into players to not drink and drive. IMO players have no excuses and no one to blame but themselves.

    Yet they take no blame whatsoever and continue to get away with it.

  18. vikings2102 says: Jun 9, 2012 9:16 PM

    Ya, I am sure none of the players in the NFL can afford a taxi……or a hotel room for the night…….

  19. east96st says: Jun 9, 2012 9:16 PM

    “Anybody else out there have their bosses pay for a cab after you been out all night drinkin that Crystal, makin’ it rain up in the club?”

    Actually, having worked for several of the networks and even a few cable networks, I can honestly say rides were provided for on air talent and executives. No questions asked. Also, quite a number of people I know who worked on Wall Street used car services on their bosses dime. The higher up you were on the food chain, the more it was thought of as your “right”. Sad reality is people who make $500k and up get treated very differently in every aspect of their lives.

  20. cannonballdookie says: Jun 9, 2012 9:21 PM

    They prefer to go speeding around drunk anyways, why give them a resource they won’t use.

  21. bigwalt2990 says: Jun 9, 2012 9:21 PM

    If your not smart/sober enough to call your own cab, your surely not going to call the company cab…..just because it’s free…come on.

  22. mybrunoblog says: Jun 9, 2012 9:23 PM

    If I went to my employer and said ” we have a lot of young men who get intoxicated and need a safe ride home. You need to provide us with this service, free of charge” two things would happen.
    First, I’d be laughed out of the room.
    Secondly, I’d probably be fired for being irresponsible, unrealistic and asking my employer to do something they should have no business doing.

  23. chrisjohnston10 says: Jun 9, 2012 9:23 PM

    They can’t just call their own cab like every other person?

  24. sfm073 says: Jun 9, 2012 9:25 PM

    Give each player a option to pay into a service that will drive and pick up each player if need be. And for now on each player that gets busted will miss an entire season at a minimum.

  25. 2ndaryinsanity says: Jun 9, 2012 9:34 PM

    Sorry, but I fail to see what the problem is? Grown men shouldn’t need mommy, daddy, the NFL, or their team to baby-sit them and provide transportation. There are LOTS of alternatives to driving drunk and risking their lives/the lives of others. This one is SUPER easy….don’t drink at all. This next one’s hard….only drink at home. Then there’s always….use a designated driver, call a cab or other car service. So, why exactly is it the NFL, Players Union, or individual teams responsibility?

  26. jimbo75025 says: Jun 9, 2012 9:47 PM

    jimmysee says:Jun 9, 2012 8:50 PM

    re: “spying on players.”

    NFLPA paranoia in the end hurts its members.

    And I’m a union member.
    _____________

    Agreed. Do you really think anyone is going to care if a player goes out during the offseason or during a bye week and has a few as long as they are not acting like complete a**hats at the bar and are of legal drinking age? Unless you are a major chances are most people in public would not even recognize you unless you were calling attention to yourself other than to say wow that guy is huge. Yet another case of the unions “wins” in the CBA getting in the way of common sense. I would have killed to have a luxury like that when I was 22 or so but sounds like the players were trying to look in the mouth of the gift horse a bit much.

  27. briddes says: Jun 9, 2012 9:48 PM

    The economy must be bad if NFL players cannot afford a cab.

  28. gunpowderjones says: Jun 9, 2012 9:56 PM

    That’s probably true, brunoblog, but you are also probably much easier to replace than Justin Blackmon

  29. fatfreddystubbs says: Jun 9, 2012 10:13 PM

    The problem with this program, and even the idea of driving to go out but saying that you’ll call a cab if you have too much is that it’s a “close the barn door once the horse is already out” scenario.

    It’s easy as hell to, with a sober mind, plan the night out and what they’ll do if they drink too much. the problem is that when it comes time to make those decisions, they don’t have a sober mind anymore, and that’s when they say “i’m not that bad, i can drive”.

    If you know you’re gonna have even a few drinks, don’t drive to go out in the first place (and at the risk of being a “live in glass house, throwing stones guy”, i’ll admit to having driven in my life when there’s no way in hell i should have been. Thankfully i learned my lesson without hurting myself, or someone else).

  30. ksm31311 says: Jun 9, 2012 10:23 PM

    gunpowderjones says:
    Jun 9, 2012 9:56 PM
    That’s probably true, brunoblog, but you are also probably much easier to replace than Justin Blackmon

    ———————

    Players get replaced daily; neither you nor JB should be deluded about the duration of his stay in the NFL….

  31. metalhead65 says: Jun 9, 2012 10:23 PM

    why exactly do nfl players pay union dues if they refuse to do anything other than take their money and sue the nfl? the nfl gave control of a program to help players stay out of trouble and they could not be bothered to tell their membership it was available?right much better to fight the league over the penalties they get after they get into trouble.

  32. eagleswin says: Jun 9, 2012 10:32 PM

    Let me get this straight.

    1. The league provided a free service for the safety of the players.
    2. The union in a fit of paranoia tried to spin this free service as the NFL being evil.
    3. The union, after being given control of the program by the NFL, ran it into the ground because, it seems, that they didn’t really want it. They only wanted to use it against the NFL.
    4. Florio now thinks that the league should help ressurect it so that we can start the cycle all over again.

    As much as i think it is a good service for the players, why is it the league’s responsibility. It is the job of the union to look after the wellbeing of the players, yet they do very little to protect the players. When it comes to safety issues, the union seems to care very little unless they get compensated for it.

  33. rmavs says: Jun 9, 2012 10:45 PM

    The Air Force has a program called Airmen Against Drunk Driving. Volunteers are on call through the weekend to field calls from other airmen that have had too much to drink, and they drive them home. AADD is not a cab service. If you call them, they pick you up and bring you home. They don’t take you to anther bar. Teams should think about such a program. Team members who care about their fellow team members.

  34. rmavs says: Jun 9, 2012 10:47 PM

    But, then again, when you’re making jack, why not spend a few bucks on a cab ride home…

  35. daboltfan says: Jun 9, 2012 10:55 PM

    Florio seems to be implying that playing professional sports makes people less responsible for themselves. So much so that they should be cottled by their employers, instead of taking care of themselves. I recognize the vested interest of the teams to have a program to get players home if they are drunk in order to prevent bad publicity and interactions with law enforcement but come on, the level of money that they make and their status as celebrities and role models in society implies that any damage to the reputation of their teams and the NFL should have higher consequences then what is currently written in the Substance Abuse Policy of the NFL. As societal figures, influence on young people is higher then what is to be expected from those outside of their communal interactions. The local judicial penalties should require the same from them as they do if you or I get charged with DUI/DWI. Professional Athletes should not be able to postpone their court dates so they can continue to collect their million dollar paycheck each pay period during the season. If you drive drunk or violate the law you should be have your court date regardless. There are consequences in life, if you violate the law, your life will suffer, jobs will be affected etc. When we elect our public officials their vote counts the same as ours, as such in the eyes of social enforcement so should their standing in the courts if they choose to drive drunk.

  36. andrewfbrowne says: Jun 9, 2012 11:08 PM

    Union is a bit too contentious, “spying on players” wow, that is a bit much.

  37. gcsuk says: Jun 9, 2012 11:20 PM

    Teams SHOULD provide a service to get their players home safe if they have had too much to drink…and then deduct the cost (with a nominal “babysitting fee”) from the players check.

    Why the hell should the team have to pony up just because a player is too stupid to know better?

  38. ditkadontbutkus says: Jun 9, 2012 11:40 PM

    Anyone who is against this program is not thinking rationally. Complain about money, privilege or inequality all you want — you are simply wrong in the end.

  39. dawglb says: Jun 10, 2012 4:00 AM

    Great system. Some of the wealthiest people on the planet need to get a free ride when they drink too much… Why is it that every other person in the world (who makes far less money) has to pay their own? What a joke that these dopes need a system in place….. Grow up.

  40. mikea311 says: Jun 10, 2012 7:08 AM

    eagleswin says: Jun 9, 2012 10:32 PM

    Let me get this straight.

    1. The league provided a free service for the safety of the players.
    2. The union in a fit of paranoia tried to spin this free service as the NFL being evil.
    3. The union, after being given control of the program by the NFL, ran it into the ground because, it seems, that they didn’t really want it. They only wanted to use it against the NFL.
    4. Florio now thinks that the league should help ressurect it so that we can start the cycle all over again.

    As much as i think it is a good service for the players, why is it the league’s responsibility. It is the job of the union to look after the wellbeing of the players, yet they do very little to protect the players. When it comes to safety issues, the union seems to care very little unless they get compensated for it.

    ——————

    as with any union, they are more interested in staying relevant than providing a worthwhile service to a group of employees.

  41. dd393 says: Jun 10, 2012 9:00 AM

    papaweedandtrich says: Jun 9, 2012 8:11 PM

    Now how are Detroit Lion players gonna get home?

    ===================================

    Same as they always have. By driving 100 mph in their own cars.

    You mean they can’t afford a cab? Maybe one of their posse could drive them home in their Escalade?

  42. whitemike55 says: Jun 10, 2012 9:49 AM

    My University provided a free cab service if you had been drinking. I can’t see why individual teams don’t have it.

    They very well may, but it’s not being used.

  43. dryheaveone says: Jun 10, 2012 10:01 AM

    chrisjohnston10 says:Jun 9, 2012 9:23 PM

    They can’t just call their own cab like every other person?

    “every other person”??…..lol… forget football players. ALOT of people get caught drunk driving everyday. Everybody says they’ll take a cab, call for a ride etc..etc. WHEN THEY ARE SOBER….they thing is ONCE THEY GET DRUNK reason and common sense go out the window and they say,…. “*burp* nah, i’m OK *burp* I can make it home *burp*” THEN they get nailed for DUI or worse get into an accident and kill somebody….Players probably weren’t using the program anyway.

  44. tomtravis76 says: Jun 10, 2012 10:09 AM

    The league and Union should have a zero tolerance policy. Its a great message to send to fans that no matter what happens off the field if you can run,catch, hit hard, you will always have a job in the league

  45. pftcensorssuck says: Jun 10, 2012 11:45 AM

    So that’s why Blackmon had to drive while at .24???

    Was there ever a SINGLE player who ever used this service?

    ONE?????

  46. covercorner says: Jun 10, 2012 12:32 PM

    Some NFL players need babysitters. (Others said the same and their comment remains.)

  47. backindasaddle says: Jun 10, 2012 4:01 PM

    Typical. The union took a straight forward, no brainer, good program and turned it into a fight with the league. If the union truly cared about the well being of its members they’d be all over the promotion of this program. They don’t give a crap and that speaks volumes.

  48. panamon says: Jun 10, 2012 7:50 PM

    Actually this should be titled “NFLPA’s safe rides program is no more”.

    How shameful is that to demand the rights to it, then as an organization of the players meant to protect them it cuts back awareness and promotion of the program and eventually “basically” cuts it. I guess for them the only thing that matters is money in TOTAL, not the average player at all.

  49. CKL says: Jun 10, 2012 8:20 PM

    I would love it if the NFL and the owners would spin this as the union being against player safety while they, the owners, are providing it by continuing the program. Because in a nutshell, that’s what it really is (along with a side of “protecting their investments”). I am anti-union anyway but DeSmith & crew take it to a whole new level.

  50. backindasaddle says: Jun 11, 2012 1:46 AM

    CKL says:
    Jun 10, 2012 8:20 PM
    I would love it if the NFL and the owners would spin this as the union being against player safety while they, the owners, are providing it by continuing the program. Because in a nutshell, that’s what it really is (along with a side of “protecting their investments”). I am anti-union anyway but DeSmith & crew take it to a whole new level.
    ——————————————————————————————-

    No “spin” necessary. The truth is the truth.

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