At a probation violation hearing for Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman, Municipal Court Judge John Burlew said the National Football League’s suspension of Thurman for a DUI conviction was hypocritical.
If the NFL is going to be so anti-alcohol as to take away a player’s livelihood for a DUI offense, then stop selling beer in the stadiums and stop selling TV ads for alcoholic beverages, the Judge said.
Two takes on this:
Maybe the Judge is right. The NFL must know that a large proportion of those fans drinking in the stadium are going to get behind the wheel after the game, with blood-alcohol levels over the legal limit. Put your money where your mouth is and end the alcohol sales and ad revenue.
On the other hand, there is a difference between alcohol use and abuse, and people have to exercise personal responsibility in this regard. Though the NFL sells beer in stadiums and makes tremendous ad revenue from alcoholic beverage companies, the League is not inviting anyone to drink AND drive. No doubt there are plenty of “Drink Responsibly” messages floated by the NFL.
What’s your view? I guess it depends on the level of responsibility you assign to the NFL with regard to “enabling” alcohol use/abuse. How responsible is the NFL for the numerous people who will inevitably get behind the wheel after having “one too many” at the game?