Elway: Arrests are unacceptable and inexcusable


The Broncos have handed down suspensions for player personnel director Matt Russell and pro personnel director Tom Heckert and it appears that will be the only job-related discipline they’ll face for their DUI arrests.

In their release about the suspensions, the Broncos said that the league told them that they did not plan any further discipline for the two executives. The Broncos suspended Russell indefinitely without pay and Heckert for one month without pay on Monday and executive vice president of football operations John Elway said that Heckert and Russell failed in one of their responsibilities to the team.

“When I was named to this position two years ago, I spoke of the role this organization has in the community,” Elway said in the release. “We all have an individual responsibility to represent this team in the appropriate manner at all times. It’s particularly disappointing that two members of my staff acted so irresponsibly. Simply put, it’s unacceptable and inexcusable.”

Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports that the lack of further league discipline does not mean the Broncos will avoid punishment under the league’s salary remittance policy. The policy punishes teams for repeated violations of the same type by members of the organization and, per Breer, any fines due from the Broncos as a result of the DUI arrests — a group that also includes offensive lineman Quentin Saulsberry — would be levied after the 2013 season.

50 responses to “Elway: Arrests are unacceptable and inexcusable

  1. As usual those on the lower end of the totem pole get screwed. Its quite possible that Heckett was even more blasted than the other guy, however in Heckets defense he didnt bowl over a police vehicle.

  2. From The Rocky Mountain News:

    Broncos Hall-of-Famer John Elway lost his thrill at Cherry Creek Grill.
    There are conflicting versions of the story, but according to Elway, he and his girlfriend, Paige Green, along with pal Craig Andrisen arrived at the restaurant around 6 p.m. Wednesday and sat at the end of the bar. Throughout the course of the evening the threesome ordered drinks (the number is under dispute) and appetizers

    Several hours later, when Elway attempted to order another glass of wine, he was told by the bartender that management was cutting him off. According to the former Broncos quarterback, he asked to speak to the manager.

    “I asked her for her card to find out what her name was,” Elway told me. “I said to her ‘If that’s your policy (to refuse him another drink), then that’s the way it is but I’m not coming back.’ We had been there for hours, and I appreciated them taking care of me, but we were just sitting there having a discussion. We weren’t even being loud.”

    Anne Wheeler, the manager on duty, claims that Elway was served seven glasses of wine (a number he disputes) and was cut off when he tried to order an eighth. For the record, Andrisen says Elway was refused a fourth — not eighth — glass of wine and was told that he had to order food if he wanted an additional drink.

    “(Elway) got upset and was in my face a little bit,” Wheeler said. “He stood up and towered over me and pointed his finger in my face. I apologized, and said I was sorry to hear that he would never come back.”

    Both Elway and Andrisen deny the alleged intimidation. “I did not stick my finger in the girl’s face or try and intimidate her,” Elway said. “It was a matter of discussing things. I said ‘If that’s your policy that’s your policy, but I’m not coming back.’”

    Personally I think Elway was angry because when he walked into the bar, the bartender said “why the long face?”

  3. What would happen to me if I was well over the legal alcohol limit, crashed into a police car in the process of getting pulled over, had open containers of alcohol in my car and told the cop that I only had two “green drinks”?

    Well I can tell you for sure that I would be unemployed and not just suspended. What a world we live in.

  4. Broncos act fast before legal proceedings are complete so that their front office is in tact again well before cut days and waiver claims. Had they waited for the league to act, these guys might miss some crucial functions. As it is, they miss two weeks when everyone’s on vacation anyway and two weeks of work.

  5. What would happen to me if I was well over the legal alcohol limit, crashed into a police car in the process of getting pulled over, had open containers of alcohol in my car and told the cop that I only had two “green drinks”?

    Well I can tell you for sure that I would be unemployed and not just suspended. What a world we live in.
    I’m so tired of the whoa is me whining by some on here about how your punishment would be so much worse because you’re just the little guy and these guys get off with everything because they are part of a sports club. Let me tell you what would happen. First of all your name and picture wouldn’t be all over the news. Second of all, you would probably keep your job without suspension depending on what field your in. Finally, you would get a court date just like these guys did and have to face the charges that you were arrested for. That’s what would happen. Not stop your damn crying! And to those that insinuate the Broncos some how endorse this kind of behavior or are indifferent to it, get a clue and stop trolling the boards. These guys are going to be punished for their actions and the Broncos will certainly do more then what is required to reach out to the community to help in this area.

  6. According to Ryan Van Bibber from Washington, D.C., Broncos legend John Elway is definitely one.

    I had a celeb run-in with John Elway a couple years back. I was a layabout around Aspen, CO, spending most of my days in a down valley bar called the Rainbow Grill. One weekday afternoon in the summer of ’03 I had come in for some touchscreen games and kamikaze shots. As I was talking to the bartender, one of the waitresses came in complaining of a table with dirty old men. Looking out the onto the deck we spotted the most famous cog in Mike Shanahan’s “system” with a couple of other dudes (obviously not former players) and a really young chick that looked to be the girlfriend of the recently divorced former QB. The most shocking thing about it, besides the fact that he looked much more like Elway the car salesman than Elway the Pro Bowl QB, was that the guy is a chain smoker. That bastard should have an endorsement deal with Marlboro Lights. Anyway … it’s not all that shocking, but I was blown away that a guy who made a handsome living on his physical abilities smoked liked a Jersey dockworker.

  7. They weren’t at work when it happened. They shouldn’t be punished at work. End of story

  8. and the same day they hand out punishment there is word of a player arrested in may. seems it was brushed under the rug as was the first exec.
    stay classy broncos

  9. Jul 15, 2013 3:26 PM

    Elway acting like he’s never driven drunk!

    or had police escorts

  10. Plus, everything about Denver, Colorado blows. It’s the lamest big city (second only to Salt Lake City) in the States. Crappy weather, 80 mph wind, homeless bums in McDonald’s, hipsters, the old Quebec Nordiques. Lame City, USA.

  11. Don’t have to be a doctor to determine that Elway’s bags under the eyes and puffy face is a bi- product of booze. Everyone has heard of his womanizing and cheating ways when he played, so much so that it made Brett Favre jealous.

  12. Why did it take for the arrests to make the national news before horseface and the Broncos acted? The first one for the exec was a clear cover up. Now, reports are coming out of arrests of other players from previous months.

  13. I think they should be suspended without pay and fined very considerably. also just wondering, is it true that elway got arrested for hitting his wife when he was married? i heard that from someone who lived near them in colorado.
    also, as a bronco fan for 40 years i am disappointed by what this organisation has become recently

  14. It needs to be noted that with these three arrests, the Denver Broncos have now surpassed the Cincinnati Bengals and tied the Minnesota Vikings for the league lead in arrests since the year 2000. This has been an ongoing problem in Denver for well over a decade. Why?

  15. What is one to do? Marijuana is illegal, so to stay on the right side of the law you are compelled to drink. But if you are in public you are only allowed to drink just so much. And even if these guys were blasted out of their minds in the back of a cab, people would still look down their noses at them for being drunk.

  16. From: Broncos Inch Closer To League Lead…..in Arrests.

    The Broncos’ ranking raises the question of whether the team places as high a premium on character as their public statements would indicate.

    In January of 2008, team owner Pat Bowlen said: “I don’t think we have a major character problem here.”

    Broncos players have been arrested at least 16 time since he made that statement.

    In a letter to fans following the team’s dismal 4-12 campaign three years ago, Bowlen said that “maintaining the highest level of character” is part of “the Bronco way.”

    The facts — not to mention fans’ growing familiarity with attorney-to-troubled-Broncos Harvey Steinberg — suggest otherwise. Steinberg’s name is mentioned so often in conjunction with the Broncos these days that they should go ahead and make him the team’s honorary 54th man, retiring the number (with apologies to former guard Keith Bishop) in his honor.

    The trial of former defensive back Perrish Cox on felony sexual assault charges — which resulted in his acquittal — pulled back the curtain on the private lives’ of several players. Reporting on the pending civil suit filed against Cox and current Denver wide receiver Demaryius Thomas will no doubt be equally seedy.

    And the database doesn’t even include non-arrest incidents that call players’ character into question. Most recently for the Broncos that would be DJ Williams’ laughable “non-human” urine episode.

    Bowlen talked about the “Bronco way.” In my view, it seems like the team has lost it.

  17. Personally I have a bit of an issue with the way the Broncos are handling this. If a player gets hit for a DUI does he get suspended by the team? No! He is offered “help” and goes into the league’s special “program” for substance abuse. These guys should be offered some help also and also be put in the substance abuse program. Yeah it’s unacceptable and inexcusable, but it should be handled the same for ANY employee of the Broncos, regardless of who they are.

  18. So sick of these stories. There are literally hundreds of nfl players who spend their off time doing charity work, giving money away, and making the world a better place. Why can’t you do more stories about that than reporting multiple stories about every idiot who does something stupid? Seriously. I’m asking the question: why can’t you do more stories about all the good things people do instead of a fricking crime update every day?
    Disgusted fan

  19. The media is getting really close to exposing the truth about horseface.

    He’s always been a drunk A-hole.

  20. I’m confused here, if these were players, wouldn’t the NFL being issuing fines and/or suspensions?

    Team executives fall under the league rules, so if anything, Lord Goddell isn’t being very consistent in the one area where it’s needed

    Doesn’t this come off as a double-standard?

    Also, both Russell and Heckert are being punished for doing the same exact thing, so why did the Broncos suspend Russell indefinitely, and then suspend Heckert for only a month?

  21. The Broncos and Patriots franchises should be suspended indefinitely. Embarassment’s to the NFL
    Yeah.. Whatever… This probably coming from a Lions fan..

  22. whatnojets,

    Superb stuff as usual! 🙂

    To the person who wonered at the disparate treatment, employees in union and with a CBA vs non union employees. Though the EEOC does contain some provisions protecting alcoholics so maybe they have lawyers looking into that aspect.

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