Last December, as you’ll likely recall, Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent was arrested after a DUI-related accident killed his teammate, Jerry Brown (who was also Brent’s college teammate and roommate). There was some uproar when, out on bond, Brent was allowed to attend a home game and momentarily walk the sidelines with his teammates.
Now my friend Thomas Lake, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, has an interesting feature looking at why, given so many other viable options, NFL players continue to drink and drive. The story, which centers on the Brent case, hasn’t been posted online yet, but there is a short teaser here.
Pro athletes, Lake writes, are arrested for drunk driving less frequently than the general population, but “what distinguishes the sports figures is their financial ability to hire drivers. And now, with Safe Ride solutions, they have fewer excuses to drive drunk than they ever had before.”
Here’s how the story recounts December 8, 2012, the night of the accident, when Brent and Brown were at a bar just five miles from the apartment they shared:
“Brent had a choice to make…He can call a confidential safe-ride service administered by the NFL Players Association. He can call one of two limousine services affiliated with the Cowboys. He can call a member of the Cowboys’ staff whose job it is to be available all day and all night to help the players however he can. Josh Brent does none of those things.”