If the league is serious about the integrity of the NFL shield, it should push to have the next labor deal include mandatory one-year suspensions for any player convicted of drunk driving. The NFL has a program that provides safe rides home to players who've been drinking, but there are too many reports of players getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. Chargers linebacker Antwan Applewhite is the most recent; he was arrested early Friday morning and charged with DUI. Just as Roger Goodell has tried to protect players from themselves when it comes to dangerous hits, he and the Players Association should do the same when it comes to drinking and driving. One conviction, out for the year. Two, a lifetime ban. The status quo isn't working.
This is an article from the May 16, 2011 issue