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.