No matter what you do, anytime your job security is being threatened people get a little edgy; it’s no different if you are employed by the National Football League. March 11, 2011 signaled to be the beginning of the end for many players. Since that time at least 10 NFL players have found themselves in the hospital, in jail, in court or just being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Just like children when they have nothing to do, chaos is bound to erupt.
Recently for example, over the weekend, Miami Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall ended up in a Florida hospital ICU after being stabbed by his wife who claims she was trying to protect herself from Marshall. Or we can turn our attention to the Washington Redskins’ Albert Haynesworth who was indicted on Tuesday on a charge of misdemeanor sexual abuse.
When the lockout began, the NFL Commissioner reminded everyone that they can’t suspend players during the lockout, but they will be keeping a close eye on them. Just to clarify—the league won’t be able to enforce the Personal Conduct policy during a lockout, but they will be keeping track of infractions with an eye towards enforcement after the work stoppage is over.
What can the NFL really do?
Nothing! Technically these players have no contract, thus no job. So you want me and the rest of the country to believe that when the lockout is over you are going to pull each and every one of these players aside and enforce some type of punishment or penalty? Yeah right!
The small victory for the NFLPA of the lockout being lifted is just that ‘a small victory.' Even when players attempted to show up at the team facilities the welcome was less than hospitable.
So what’s a player to do?
No, I’m definitely not saying get in trouble, but some of these guys have no idea what to do in their spare time. I’m not going to get into the stereotypical social and economical labels that are placed on professional athletes, but what I am going to say is there are thousands of things that can be done in your downtime at your local Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA and the list goes on.
The trash talking between players is going to continue until infinity and beyond, but with no end in sight for the lockout, at least try to be proactive with your time and keep the grandeur of your future in mind.