Two Dallas Cowboys players have been arrested on DWI charges in the past month. Each arrest involved a late-night car wreck.
One of those players, Josh Brent, faces manslaughter charges because his passenger and teammate (and apparently best pal) Jerry Brown died in the accident. The other, former Pro Bowler Jay Ratliff, was reportedly belligerent and uncooperative with police.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has seen enough and are ready to step in and take action, according to the Dallas Morning News:
Mothers Against Drunk Driving is talking with the Dallas Cowboys about how to raise team awareness about the consequences of driving drunk, including the recent death of one player and the arrests of two others.
Debbie Weir, the Irving-based organization’s chief executive officer, has arranged to meet with team officials after next month’s Super Bowl to discuss the possibility of such a program, said Jeff Miracle, director of the North Texas chapter of MADD.
Cowboys representatives declined to comment on MADD’s proposal, but the team has programs in place to curb drunken driving by players, including 24/7 limo services and a full-time staff member who can pick up players at anytime.
I cannot help but wonder why anyone would need to raise the Cowboys players’ awareness about something as blatantly obvious a problem and as heavily discussed as driving while intoxicated. Are these morons living in a vacuum? Can they not read a newspaper or billboard sign? Do they not watch television? How can you reach adulthood in today’s world and not know and understand the dangers of driving while impaired? How can you possibly need to have your awareness raised on such a subject?
Can you be that obtuse?
The problem is cultural. Professional athletes are too often young, immature, irresponsible men handed a bag of money and a given tons of acclaim. They go out and often do not even have to buy their own drinks. They are worshiped by fawning fans. They are coddled by the organizations that enable them. They are catered to by family members that become dependent upon them.
They are young. They are invincible. They own the night.
Right up to the point they lose control.
Go to Cowboys Stadium or turn on any NFL game and see if you can identify the biggest spenders among advertisers and “sponsors.” It isn’t tobacco companies. They are banned from many types of advertising. Everyone knows they are evil. Tobaccos causes (gasp) cancer.
But, hey let’s discuss that over a couple Miller Lites, shall we? Maybe a couple more. Heck, let’s open a tab and party. Gonna make it rain up in here.
I thought the end of the DMN article kind of capsulated the issue pretty well:
Team spokesman Brett Daniels noted that the Cowboys have worked with Miller Brewing Co. and MADD to ensure that fans drive safely as they leave the games.
“We have volunteers and designated-driver kiosks at the games to promote drunken-driving education among our fans.”
That’s the high life.