A new study done by researchers from UT Dallas and Florida State University shows the arrest rate for the general population is nearly twice as high as that of NFL players.
The study looked at arrest data spanning a 14-year-period, from 2000-2013. Researchers aimed to investigate the perception that the NFL has a longstanding “huge crime problem,” and found that, by their metric, that notion is false. The total arrest rate for for the general population is significantly higher than that of players: for example, the total arrest rate for the general population was 4,889 arrests per 100,000 people in 2013; the total arrest rate for NFL players was 3,740.
Though NFL players had a higher arrest rate for violent crimes during six of the 14 years studied, it says the rate of violent crime arrests in the league has been flat in recent years.
The authors compared arrest rates among 1,952 NFL players to those of males aged 20 to 39 in the general population. They measured arrest rates for total crime, property crime, violent crime and public order crime (which includes arrests for drug and alcohol-related offenses, prostitution and disorderly conduct.)
General population figures stemmed from FBI Uniform Crime Reports, which calculates arrest rates per 100,000 people. The researches used the same methods to calculate arrest rate numbers for players. They derived NFL arrest data from public records and online databases.
Researchers were unable to calculate specific arrest rates for domestic violence cases, since the FBI does not collect or publish national arrest data on specifically which violent crimes occur because of domestic violence.
You can read more on the study here.
- Jeremy Woo