The tragic death of Jerry Brown, Jr. a linebacker on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, and the arrest of nose tackle Josh Brent, 24, adds another tragic note to this season after the murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. Given a prior DUI conviction and the high visibility of this case, Brent is unlikely to be able to avoid a serious sentence for this alleged homicide unless the blood-alcohol tests can be challenged.
Police charged Brent with intoxicated manslaughter after he flipped his car at 2:21 am with his friend as a passenger. The car appears to have hit the curb and most have been going at an impressive speed if it flipped over.
Frankly, I am always astonished to read about drunken parties for NFL players during the season. These guys have remarkably few games and a short season for which they often earned millions. (Indeed, I continue to agree with many that the season needs to be extended with more games — though yesterday’s Bears loss to the Vikings has left me dazed and confused). Even if the Cowboys are out of the playoffs, they still have games to play and as the eighth seed could still make it into the playoffs. It would seem a small expectation that for the weeks of the season, NFL players would avoid late night carousing and drinking.
Brent pleaded guilty in 2009 to DUI in Urbana, Illinois and was suspended from playing further for the University of Illinois. He was sentenced to two years probation, 60 days in jail, a fine and 200 years of community service.
A report on NFL players arrested show a high rate of DUI cases.
There is obvious a certain fascination if not voyeurism in celebrity cases. Watching a celebrity fall from a great social height tends to captivate average citizens. The question is how Brent’s position should factor into sentencing if he pleads guilty. NFL players are obviously role models for good or bad for children. Should the court consider Brent’s position as a role model as an aggravating factor? He did not ask for such a role but he is a public figure who is generally treated under NFL rules as having social responsibilities. Yet would it be fair to impose a higher sentence due to his status as a football celebrity?
Source: Dallas News