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Let justice be done for everyone PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, June 27, 2013 12:09 AM

BY JIM METCALFE

Sports Editor

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Two professional football players were arrested Wednesday on murder (former New England Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez) and attempted murder (former Cleveland Browns rookie free-agent linebacker Ausar Walcott) charges.

That brings to 28 the reported number of pro players who have been arrested since the Super Bowl

I do not know if they are guilty or not — I leave that up to the legal system to play out and hopefully get justice done — but it brought a thought — more like a question — to my mind.

It is this: is there becoming an ever-more-prevalent mindset in even our professionals of a “you-owe-this-to-me” mentality — that just because they are pros and may have had to go through tough times to get to this point, they are entitled to everything, including immunity from the laws the rest of us — theoretically, at least — have to abide by?

I still remember Michael Irvin’s response — when he played for the Dallas Cowboys — when he was arrested by police in the mid-90s: “Can I tell you who I am”.

Maybe these comments are all snot bubbles and these allegations against the two newest arrestees will prove to be false — you want to give them the benefit of the doubt because it could simply be a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and a situation escalated too fast. I will keep up with this case as best I can.

However, if they are true, it troubles me. The NFL has always been my favorite league — ever since I can remember — and to see it seemingly taken over by this attitude leaves my shivering.

I am sure that Commissioner Roger Goodell and the powers-that-be in The League have their eyes and ears attuned to the situations and they are worried.

I don’t blame the union, either — unless they are promoting this “… hominy” — because you cannot control grown men.

Another sad case that seems to be happening more frequently just popped up in my searches on the Internet.

Former pro Steve Hendrickson — for the 49ers and the Chargers — is now suffering from severe short-term memory due to what is believed to be the many concussions he suffered — and played through — because if his hard-nosed mindset as a special-teams ace destroyer.

He has been reduced to carrying a tape recorder to note all the things he did yesterday so he can “remember” them today.

He apparently has not joined the current mass lawsuit brought by former players against the NFL because he feels they are opportunists.

As I have written before, I have serious concerns that the days of the NFL are numbered — lesser than more — with this growing threat of The League being found “guilty” of not coming clean on the possible side effects of concussions.

I’m not saying that they are guilty. Think of this; many of these cases happened decades ago and there is more and more evidence that there are irreversible side effects but even today, they still can’t pin them down exactly. More study is needed to be done to close the certainty gap.

Can the NFL be truly guilty of not knowing this stuff 20, 30, even 40 years ago when it’s only been after far more intense and extensive scrutiny that we have arrived at this point?

Maybe they can be if it is proven they “knew” and held back. Again, this will be a long, long — llllooonnnnggg — case.

Again, you hope that some kind of justice for both sides can be achieved but since we are dealing with human beings and scrutiny, neither side will be happy — in this case, the courts probably cannot win either way unless they have the wisdom of Solomon.

Some days, I’m glad I’m not a jurist!

 

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