The Dolphins have become the latest NFL team to banish a player following an arrest.
Dolphins defensive lineman Derrick Shelby, who was booked for trespassing and resisting arrest during the Dolphins’ bye weekend, has been suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team.
“We were disappointed to learn about Derrick’s arrest,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said in a statement. “Everyone in this organization is held to high standards of conduct and professionalism. Based on my conversations with Derrick and the information we have thus far, Derrick will be placed on Indefinite Club Suspension. When we have completed all of the necessary diligence, we will make a final determination on his discipline.”
The Ft. Lauderdale Police Department says it arrested Shelby because he was “touching females” without their permission at a nightclub, and when a police officer asked him to leave, Shelby took a threatening stance. Police say they had to use a taser on Shelby three times to get him under control; Shelby’s lawyer counters that police used excessive force, causing bruises to his face.
Amid a plague of negative attention on the NFL for players’ off-field misconduct, several teams have removed players accused of crimes from the field. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy were placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, while Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was placed on the non-football illness list. Colts receiver Da’Rick Rogers was cut moments after his DUI arrest was reported. Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely by the league and released by the Ravens the day the infamous elevator video became public.
But not every team is on board with the approach of taking immediate action: The 49ers say they will not act against defensive lineman Ray McDonald, who was arrested after a domestic violence accusation, as long as the police investigation is ongoing. The action the Dolphins took today has become the norm in the NFL, but it’s by no means the only approach. Teams remain inconsistent in how they respond when a player is arrested.