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Old 03-19-2014   #38
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Default Re: Jim Irsay arrested on DUI

DOUBLE STANDARD
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The problem is that such sympathy is rarely extended toward NFL players, who are either condemned for their thoughtless actions or ignored as humans entirely, analyzed solely through the lens of on-field decisions.

Peter King, one of the most prolific and respected voices in the NFL media, is a perfect example of this double standard. In his weekly Tuesday column, King devoted several paragraphs to detailing Irsay's passion for the Colts and, generally, being an all-around caring samaritan:

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The first step here will be for Irsay to deal with the law, and to get the help he needs. Irsay loves being around his team. He loves being an owner. He loves the life, and what he can do for people because of that life. For goodness sakes, he tweets transactions. He gives out tickets in Twitter contests. When a former Colts beat writer, Len Pasquarelli, was ready to be discharged from a Phoenix hospital after bypass surgery while covering the Super Bowl in 2008, Irsay sent word that he wanted to ferry Pasquarelli home to Atlanta on his private plane, with a nurse on board. On Monday, Pasquarelli wrote about that for a story on his site, pickthedraft.com, just to show people that Irsay is a big-hearted guy who, obviously, has some demons.
This "get the help he needs" sentiment was a common one in The Star's roundup, but is rarely extended to players busted for DUIs or DWIs. Last September, Aldon Smith was arrested on DUI charges -- his second DUI charge in a year -- blowing twice the legal limit at 7 a.m. on a Thursday morning. Despite Smith announcing he would check himself into a rehab facility, King wrote nothing even approaching his compassion for Irsay, discussing the entire issue through the dehumanizing and paternalistic lens of the 49ers' personnel department:

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I would not have played Smith Sunday were it my decision. I wouldn't have abandoned him and let him go off to get in more trouble than he already was in. He would have been with the team all weekend -- at Saturday meetings, on the sideline Sunday -- but there are some things that are just more important than playing in a football game. If it sends the wrong message to sit a guy and pay him $230,000, so be it. I just don't think it's right to let him play.

One other thing: The next big issue on Roger Goodell's agenda -- and on DeMaurice Smith's as well -- has to be tougher penalties on DUIs. This isn't a partisan issue. It's potentially a life-and-death one, for the drivers and the innocents in their way.
In February of 2010, Vincent Jackson pleaded guilty to his second DUI charge since coming into the NFL. Peter King's reaction...
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