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Stars Behind Bars

Arrests of NFL players since 2010.

Tom Calimer- @tc7272,


The NFL is full of role models and stars. They are worshipped. Fans follow their every move online and on game day. They exhibit frustration on the sidelines, but are publicly portrayed model citizens. But every now and again a headline tells the story of an NFL player arrested for drugs, DUI or something worse. The headlines are infrequent, but the numbers tell a different story.

There are a total of 1,696 active players in the NFL. Between 2010 and 2014, 262 NFL players were arrested. Nine more have been arrested within the first month and four days of 2015. In the first week of February, 2015 former NFL star and Hall of Fame defensive linemen Warren Sapp was arrested for battery and soliciting sex. Less than 5 hours later, Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle was arrested for possession of marijuana.

Professor of Psychology Jerry Mertens has written many articles analyzing bad behavior in professional athletes. Mertens says pros behave badly because they feel the rules don’t apply to them. Mertens also believes this type of behavior can stem from childhood experiences. They often avoided punishment for breaking the rules because of their athletic ability. There are arrest records to prove it.


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