The NFL has just finished a particularly ugly week in which Aaron Hernandez’s murder charge was the top story, joined in the headlines by Ausar Walcott’s attempted murder charge and Joe Lefeged’s illegal weapons charge. And the NFL realizes that’s a problem.
League spokesman Greg Aiello told USA Today that the NFL’s attitude toward arrests is, “One is too many.”
Our police blotter lists 27 NFL player arrests this offseason, so that would make 27 too many so far in 2013, a year that is now half over. (Other media outlets have published higher arrest numbers than 27; we only include a player’s arrest in our police blotter if he was an active player at the time of the arrest, which means we don’t include players like Titus Young who were arrested after they were released by their NFL teams.)
Aiello noted that the NFL is trying to do what it can to make sure its players are law-abiding citizens.
“We have policies and programs that hold all NFL employees accountable and provide them with programs of education and support,” he said.
The players who have been arrested this offseason are a very small minority: With 32 teams and up to 90 men per roster during the offseason, the players arrested represent about 1 percent of all players in the league. It’s unfortunate for the 2,700 or so NFL players who haven’t been arrested that the 27 who have been get such an outsized share of the attention.