The NFL only cares about money. The NFL gave no thought to curbing domestic violence until it started to lose them money. If domestic violence somehow increased profits for the NFL, this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show would star a holographic recreation of Ike Turner. For proof, just check out these crimes by NFL players for which they received nothing more than a slap on the wrist from the League (and sometimes even less than that):
One of the most lucrative franchises in the 1970s was the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the main reason they made all that money was their vaunted Steel Curtain defense. Other teams with playoff aspirations were terrified of that defense, and the man they feared most was Ernie Holmes. One time Holmes picked up a sportswriter by the shirt and calmly lectured him on his job.
Shooting a cop.
Such a fearful persona was generated by madness itself. This manifested itself in March of 1973, two seasons before the Steelers would win their first title. Having an emotional breakdown due to family and financial stress, Ernie sought solace from legendary Steelers owner Dan Rooney (RIP). After driving through the night, a distraught Holmes found the Steelers offices weren’t open. So Holmes did what only a crazy person would do: He drove to Ohio.
A policeman was taking information at the scene of an unrelated accident when Holmes screeched up and starting ranting about trucks cutting him off because they were out to get him. Using all of his training, the police officer determined that, no, this was not the plot to a coked-up Stephen King novella, and sent Holmes on his way. Holmes got back in the car, but traffic had backed up, making it hard for him to get back on the road. Traffic that contained (ominous music) trucks!
Pushed to the edge, Holmes did what any man with a lifetime of being shoved around and absolutely no temperate mental states would do: He pulled a shotgun and, from the driver’s seat of his car, started firing at any truck he could see.
He didn’t even bother to roll down his window.
A 90-mile-per-hour police chase ensued, Holmes ditched his car and tried to hide out in a nearby forest. Police called in a helicopter, which was an obvious mistake as everyone knows that trucks and choppers are united in their desire to antagonize crazy people. Holmes took aim at the helicopter and fired, hitting a police passenger in the leg. He was soon swarmed and overwhelmed. Despite his threat level, Holmes was taken into custody uninjured.
Five years legal probation, no NFL punishment
Holmes checked into a psych ward for two months but was back out in time for training camp. He plead guilty to assault with a deadly weapon, got sentenced to no jail time, and was starting tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers by opening week.
One of the best wide receivers in history, Moss once scored a jaw-dropping 23 touchdowns in one season. He holds the record for touchdowns in a rookie season (17) and the record for fastest time to piss a team off enough to trade him, when he insulted the Vikings food spread at a team meeting.
Hitting a traffic cop with his car while smoking weed.
We are all familiar with diva behavior from standout wideouts. In fact, this “never take no for an answer” attitude even applies towards crimes by NFL players, like when they are running someone over with their car.
In 2002, Randy Moss was attempting to make an illegal turn in his Lexus when a traffic control officer stepped in front of him. Rather than do something crazy, like stop, Moss instead decided to do the sane thing: Push the officer half a block with his car. When he stopped, witnesses say the officer fell on her face.
Also found in the car was a burnt joint. I’m not up on hip terminology, but Urban Dictionary tells me that a “joint” is a “rolled marijuana cigarette.” Police decided they had enough evidence to arrest Moss at the scene for one of the more eccentric crimes by NFL players.
40 hours of community service and a $1,200 fine. The NFL did nothing to punish Moss, probably figuring that his own ego would punish him enough over time.
Smoot was a starting cornerback as part of the formidable mid-2000s Redskin secondary, along with Champ Bailey. After signing with Minnesota in 2005, his success waned, no doubt because he was busy planning boat sex parties with dozens of prostitutes.
Planning a boat sex party with prostitutes (can’t you read?)
In 2005, Smoot decided to make himself part of the team by participating in (and some say organizing) what teammates called a “boat party.” In these parties, teammates would go out onto a Minnesota lake with a mind-boggling number of prostitutes (some reported there were over 100 prostitutes present at the party that got Smoot busted).
I mean, in terms of crimes by NFL players (like domestic violence) it sounds like Smoot was a saint. His only crime was the solicitation of sex (like ten dozen times) and organizing an enormous, illegal party out on a boat. Still, the debauchery involved has made this one of the most notorious incidents in NFL history, with purportedly serious news outlets reporting exactly what toys Smoot used during the sex party and how he used them. And what color they were, because that’s indicative of competent journalistic skills.
$1,000 legal fine and 48 hours of community service. $82,000 fine from the NFL. Fellow conspirator Bryant McKinnie was given a $41,000 fine one day before he signed a $48 million contract
Able to leap ten feet from a standing position like Superman on a kryptonite binge, Britt was the first ever 1rst round pick out of Rutgers University. He became the first Rams wide receiver in 10 years to have a 1,000 yard season, which almost makes you forget his pejorative nickname (“The Human Tragedy”)
In April of 2011, a police officer attempted to pull over Britt, who instead led him on a high-speed chase.
You know what? If I detail every one of his arrests, it’s going to take more words than a healthcare bill. So let me do this in a list:
January, 2010: Britt arrested after being pulled over with three outstanding traffic warrants
April, 2011: Led police on chase after refusing to pull over
April, 2011: Got caught by police while smoking a blunt at a car wash in New Jersey
June, 2011: Surrendered to police after they put out a warrant on him for falsifying information on his drivers’ license application.
That’s not to mention the time he was arrested for lying about bailing an associate out of prison. Or the citation he received for driving without a revoked license.
In 2011, Roger Goodell took a look at the lengthy list of incidents involving Britt and said, “nope, this guy doesn’t need a suspension.” Luckily, Britt took advantage of this merciful second chance and has been an upstanding member of society ever since.
Oh, wait, actually he was given a DUI less than a year later while trying to drive past a security gate at an army base. For this infraction, he was given a one-game suspension. Britt has stayed out of trouble since then, although he will undoubtedly be arrested in a brawl this year with pissed off fantasy football players.
13-time pro-bowler Ray Lewis anchored the Ravens’ legendary defense to two Super Bowls, won 11 years apart. He was a two-time NFL defensive player of the year who was indirectly responsible for melting 20% of the polar ice caps just by glaring at them.
Obstruction of justice in a double homicide investigation.
Let’s play a game. Go out to a party with your friends, then get in a fight where two dudes get stabbed to death
Then tell police “I wasn’t there.” After that, tell police, “oh, actually, I totally was there, and I saw my friends do it.”
Congrats! How does it feel to have walked in the footsteps of legendary linebacker Ray Lewis? In 2000, Lewis got into a brawl at a Super Bowl party, during which two men were murdered with one or more knives. Blood from one of the men was found in Lewis’ limousine, and he was arrested. The public was shocked. An active star getting a rap for double homicide was unheard of.
At trial, he was given immunity from being prosecuted for the deaths in exchange for testifying against his friends. Lewis took that deal, and his crimes were all commuted except for one misdemeanor. Later, facing potential civil suits from the victims’ families, Lewis gave them money to call off their dogs.
When Hall-of-Famer Shannon Sharpe interviewed Ray Lewis before Lewis’ last Super Bowl appearance, Sharpe inquired as to how the victims’ families felt about Lewis being idolized by millions despite probably knowing more than he let on. That’s how much people are convinced he did it: On the way to participate in a Super Bowl, celebrity players are asking “hey, tell me more about those dudes you allegedly didn’t kill 11 years ago…” Lewis replied, “God has never made a mistake,” a bizarre thing to believe in a world filled with poverty, suffering, and Kris Jenner.
One year legal probation. No NFL suspension or penalty. Oh, wait! The NFL did fine Lewis $250,000, right around the time he was given a $4 million bonus by the Ravens merely for restructuring his contract. Always finding shrewd ways to profit off of crimes, that NFL.