A lot of work goes into trying to educate players on the issue. New players hear it at the mandatory Rookie Symposium. The Vikings bring in speakers to talk about the subject. The team has a program in which players can call members of Vikings security to get rides home whenever needed - it is a service available to every Vikings employee.
Jared Allen, the team's NFL Players Association representative, brought brochures to the locker room Friday touting the NFLPA's Player Transportation Link program, a confidential transportation service available for players. It includes both pre-arranged and emergency response services.
“The league does plenty,” said Vikings punter Chris Kluwe who tweeted on the subject after Brent's accident. “They have resources available for us, the teams have resources available for us. What it comes down to is whether players are going to do the right thing or not. There are presentations every year. It's, ‘Here's our security guy. Here's our number. Call us. Don't be afraid to call us.'. It is completely confidential; our security guys aren't going to tell the coaches, because they realize if word gets out, nobody will use it.”
Still, the problem persists; Felton's was the third such arrest in 10 months for the Vikings, preceded by quarterback Rhett Bomar and safety Tyrell Johnson.
Fewer NFL players, though, are arrested than other men aged 22 to 34, according to Georgetown economics professor Stephen Bronars, and the number of NFL players being arrested has dropped 40 percent in the last six years.
Ultimately, it comes down to making the right choices.
“I guess there is that air of invincibility, being a young guy,” Felton said. “And not just being a football player, but being a young guy in general. You take things for granted. You think it can't happen to you.”
Unfortunately it does. Recent events have shown that.
“It makes you think how you want to approach things going forward,” Felton said.
Distributed by MCT Information Services