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Lesson Learned from Dallas Cowboy Jerry Brown’s Death

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I was watching some pre-game NFL coverage yesterday and became hot under the collar from what I heard.

Jerry Brown was a promising practice squad linebacker with the Cowboys. His college buddy Josh Brent loved that the rookie joined the team. As two guys in their 20′s will do, they went partying on Friday night into Saturday morning. Then, the car Brent was driving wrecked. It rolled a few times and caught fire. Brent walked away, but Brown was dead.

Here’s what upset me (besides the loss of life). The League Players Association AND the team had a drivers service available to them. That means, if a player is under the influence of anything they can call the service to pick them up and return their car home as well. It’s like a high end taxi. The LPA’s is confidential, meaning that no one would know Brent was drunk. Team car services are not confidential. The team knows who was drunk when.

Apparently, from what former NFL player Keyshawn Johnson says, players tend not to use the services because they don’t want their teams to know what they have been doing. Really??

How incredibly irresponsible! Brent’s lawyer is now blaming construction for the accident. Where is the personal responsibility? Brent chose to get behind the wheel knowing he was drunk. Period. He is rightly being charged with intoxication manslaughter.

The lesson here is that you don’t give a 20-something boatloads of money and fame without teaching them personal responsibility. Generally, that is a family’s responsibility, but it tends to fall short with these kids. And they are kids.

When anyone makes a decision and acts on it, the consequences are on them. At least that is the way it was until a decade ago. Now everyone is the victim, even if it was their choice. Well, to me, it’s time for the NFL players to be role models. Own up to their screw ups and show the fans that personal responsibility is alive and well.

The League Players Association and NFL should take the reins. This is the perfect opportunity to clean up the players’ images. They are willing to get hit hard on the field, they should be willing to take their shots like men off the field.

It steams me that a life was lost because of ill-education in life matters and, as Keyshawn Johnson said, poor education in the actual way the LPA car service works.

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