Slap on wrist not enough for NFL players

Ignacio Marquez

Braylon Edwards of the New York Jets (17) takes the football into the end zone after a pass against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 24, 2009. Photo Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Another professional athlete has a run-in with the law. The latest high-profile athlete to get arrested is New York Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who was charged last week for driving while intoxicated. It happens way too often.

The arrest has been raising several issues in the sports world, with Edwards getting a next-to-nothing punishment by the Jets or the NFL.

Now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves; they probably had a reason not to give him an extensive punishment. The collective bargaining agreement does not allow a team to suspend or deactivate a player if it’s an alcohol-related offense, so the Jets’ options were few.

Edwards’ only punishment was a suspension that lasted only the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. Who are we kidding? The guy just had fresh legs when he finally stepped on the field.

This entire thing is a sham. Why are there rules put in place for players to follow if they are broken time and time again?

Edwards has had previous run-ins with the law. Just last year, he was arrested for an altercation outside a nightclub for allegedly punching a man. He ended up pleading no contest to misdemeanor aggravated disorderly conduct.

All he got was a fine and probation. He didn’t even get reprimanded by the league. The incident only led to a slap on the wrist.

Another famous athlete that has broken the law is Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger has been in highly publicized cases with the law because he was accused of sexual assault twice in the last two years.

His second allegation occurred earlier this year, landing him a six-game suspension under the personal conduct policy effective at the start of the 2010 football season.

This is only one example, but there are numerous others that have endured such consequences as Roethlisberger did.

Remember that one guy from the Bad Newz Kennel? Yep, you bet—Michael Vick. Vick was also suspended by the league, which used the same policy in its decision.

There are a lot more cases and athletes who have been disciplined like Adam “Pacman” Jones, Tank Johnson and the late Chris Henry.

The point is that pros are getting into trouble more often than not and it’s a big problem when some of them only get a slap on the wrist.

I was listening to radio host Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio and it shocked me how this guy wouldn’t have suspended Edwards if he had the power to do so.

Cowherd’s central argument was that the NFL is not a moral league and that it doesn’t matter. However, professional athletes should still be held to high standards.

The situation gets even worse when the head coach is not doing anything about his athletes’ behavior. Jets head coach Rex Ryan has been making headlines himself with the culture he’s creating over there.

Getting arrested is the least Edwards could deal with because others have received much worse consequences. Some have been shot, some are in jail and others are out of the league.

Edwards is lucky to still be playing because he could’ve had greater consequences as a result of his DWI.

Hopefully standards will rise for athletes who think they can do anything without receiving any repercussions.