The arrest of the owner of a National Football League (NFL) team for driving under the influence of alcohol could lead to sanctions from the league, according to recent reports. It would be the first time a team owner has been sanctioned for a drug or alcohol related arrest, although many players have faced suspensions or other disciplinary actions as a result of a drunk driving or a drug arrest.
This case is an example of one of the ancillary ways that a criminal charge can impact a person’s life. In this situation the person has not been convicted of the crime and has not entered a guilty plea, so he should still be considered innocent under the law and by his colleagues. Unfortunately the media attention and other factors have caused the NFL league commissioner to make a statement indicating that they are considered disciplinary actions.
There have been previous cases in which front office employees of the NFL have been suspended for similar types of arrests, including suspensions of team executives, but pursuing disciplinary action against a team owner would be setting a new precedent. The league commissioner has said in the past that executives must act as leaders and that they are in a special position of responsibility to the league and the public.
The team owner faces four felony counts follow his arrest this week. Police say that in addition to driving under the influence of alcohol he is also suspected of possessing illegal prescription medications.