The laundry list of current and former NFL players to speak to the incoming crop of NFL players quietly included a former NBA player whose career collapsed under the weight of drug addiction.
Chris Herren’s struggles became the compelling ESPN Films documentary Unguarded. He spoke at the Rookie Symposium about his experiences.
And he led with a haymaker.
”My opening line was there are more drug addicts and alcoholics in this room than NFL all-stars,” Herren told Dan Patrick on Tuesday.
It’s impossible to know whether Herren is accurate, but given the rash of DUI arrests and marijuana incidents in recent years, I wouldn’t bet against him.
And if Herren is right, it’s all the more reason for teams to do everything they can to help players who are drug addicts and/or alcoholics. If the teams won’t do it because it’s the right thing to do, then threatening to take draft picks away from teams with multiple player suspensions could give the teams the incentive to do what they already should be doing, but based on recent events apparently aren’t doing it well enough.