Monday, December 17, 2012

THE DALLAS COWBOYS AND A KILLER ON THE SIDELINE


I'm pretty sure if I had allegedly killed a co-worker while driving with alcohol in
my system that was more than twice the legal limit, my employer wouldn't let me
come into the office and enjoy some camaraderie.

I'm pretty sure that if I was arrested for intoxicated manslaughter, had my
mug shot posted across the Internet, and was released on $500,000 bond, my
employer wouldn't stand by and support me as a former co-worker is buried
and laid to rest because of my doing.

I'm pretty sure that if any of us had allegedly killed a co-worker under any circumstances,
we would be suspended, fired, and asked to stay as far away from the company
and office as humanly possible.


On Sunday in Dallas, Josh Brent, who allegedly killed teammate and best friend,
Jerry Brown, on December 8, while driving heavily intoxicated, was back on the sidelines
with the Cowboys as they played the Pittsburgh Steelers. He wasn't playing, the
team took care of that after placing him on the injured reserved list, but Brent was
smiling, laughing, and encouraging his teammates.

Really?

Brent is responsible for allegedly killing a man just over a week ago. Manslaughter,
thanks to heavy alcohol and a serious lack of judgement. The sight of him of the sideline
screamed, "This is really wrong. Terribly wrong."

I realize that the mother of Brown, who was killed in the accident, requested that
the Cowboys support Brent during this difficult time. It's amazing that she can be
so forgiving of Brent after he is responsible for taking her baby boy. It's very
admirable. However, it's just not sending the right message to anyone, anywhere,
that somebody who is responsible for the death of another man can roam free on
the sidelines as if nothing ever happened.


In 2009, Donte Stallworth, then with the Cleveland Browns, killed a pedestrian
while driving drunk in Miami. He should've been in jail for life, but because he
had a lot of money and was an NFL player,  Stallworth somehow served just 23
days in prison. Roger Goodell suspended Stallworth for a year, it was probably
the last smart thing the NFL commissioner has done.

If I were the commissioner on Sunday and had seen Brent cavorting on the sideline
with his teammates, I would've gotten Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on the phone
and said, "What the hell are you doing?"

The NFL hasn't exactly been upholding a great image lately. There was the
bounty-gate scandal with the Saints,  the referee replacement fiasco, and the
Javon Belcher murder-suicide tragedy. Do you think anyone in the league office
was comfortable seeing Brent on the sideline shortly after he drove a teammate
to his death? This was another embarrassment for the league.

The Dallas Cowboys are saying all the right things, like, "We support Brent. He's
our teammate." Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It truly is utterly ridiculous that anybody,
Jerry Jones, Roger Goodell, or anybody in a Cowboys uniform allowed this to happen.

In the words of the immortal Vince Lombardi, "What the hell is going on here?"

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