Michael Floyd should not be playing football again this season, and he definitely shouldn’t be active today. Yet, he will be suiting up today for the New England Patriots less than two weeks after he was arrested for DUI. Not that drunk driving is ever something to take lightly, but this wasn’t a case of someone slightly over the limit. A video emerged of the former Cardinals receiver passed out at the wheel for multiple traffic light cycles, and unresponsive to loud prodding from a police officer. His BAC registered at .217. It was not his first DUI.
Bill Belichick initially refused to answer any questions about it. He at first said that he was aware of the severity Floyd’s legal circumstances, then said he wasn’t, and then went ahead made him active anyway.
A roll of the dice in this circumstance was the difference between Floyd missing just one football game, and a family losing loved ones right before Christmas. Yes, this will play itself out in the court system and Floyd faces dire ramifications if convicted of extreme DUI in Arizona, and the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement has stipulated penalties. However, the video of Floyd’s off the charts intoxication should be all of the evidence the NFL needs to prevent him from playing in a game this soon.
If the Patriots are willing to take the risk on a guy whose production has dropped off and only has 33 catches this year, that’s their prerogative. But the Commissioner’s Exempt list exists for the gray area between accusations of a serious crime and official conviction for it. Drunk driving, especially at the level where by all appearances Floyd was partaking in the activity, should be considered along the lines of domestic violence. It is a criminally selfish decision that can deprive children of their parents and vice versa.
The NFL has a sustained, pervasive DUI problem. It is a problem they should take much more seriously than deflated footballs, but there’s no public outcry for accountability.