Are Too Many NFL Players Getting Arrested? — Not by a Long Shot
Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice are making headlines this month, but it seems like we're hearing of an NFL player misbehaving all the time! It's flavor of the week! Does the NFL need to do more? No way. The statistics don't lie and they'll blow you away.
A sports reporter for USA Today tracked down every media report about an NFL player getting arrested since 2000. These were media reports, not court statistics, so they may be incomplete. And arrest doesn't mean wrongdoing. It's just a suspicion of wrongdoing. But what we learn from them is incredible.
- 2014 is on track to see the fewest arrests ever.
- Arrests of NFL players has been declining since 2006.
- The percentage of NFL players who've been arrested is way below the national. average for men of the same age.
- Most arrests are from DUIs.
All of that said, violence is definitely a problem. No. 2 and No. 3 most common arrests for NFL players were for assault & battery and domestic violence. A combined 173 arrests. Still, that's over 15 years with the league employing about 700 players a year. It's a problem, but not a crisis.
The real "problem" appears to be with teams. When broken down by teams, the Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals have had twice as many players arrested since 2000 as the league average. The Rams and Cards have had half as many arrests as the league average. Seattle Seahawks have 22 -- the average.
Surprisingly, the number of arrests in a franchise seems to stay consistent, suggesting it may be more about DUI habits in that city instead of management (which changes).