The League

Sean McCann
Beat Writer

Sean McCann

Former Philadelphia Eagles beat writer for Gannett

He's Not a Murderer

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Donte Stallworth deserves to play football again, if he can.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's verdict is probably about right; some will think it lenient, Stallworth may feel the sting is too deep. The Browns wide receiver certainly contributed to a man's death on that unfortunate day last year, but like Ray Lewis several years back, he was not the only contributor. Those mitigating circumstances were reflected in a softer criminal sentence, and despite what Goodell wrote in a letter to Stallworth, they ought to be reflected in his professional sentence as well.

Murderers have no place in professional sports. Donte Stallworth drove with a buzz on, which makes him a criminal, of which the NFL has plenty already. He is no murderer, however.

I've never driven drunk. Living in a city, with taxis and short walks and bicycles, it's easier to avoid that temptation. But still, when it comes to Stallworth's situation, count me among the "there but for the grace of god" club.

By Sean McCann  |  August 13, 2009; 3:33 PM ET  | Category:  Cleveland Browns , Crime , Donte Stallworth , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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There but for the grace of god do you find yourself exiled for a year from your multi million dollar job? While the rest of us, should be be unwise enough to get a DWI (and NOT kill someone), are expected to explain the situation to any potential employer and whomever else accesses our criminal records for whatever reason. I had a position that required I commute often, and if I'd gotten a DWI, they would have canned me on the spot, no questions asked. I can't weep for the likes of Stallworth or any other. Football isn't a sport anymore, it's a soap opera.

Posted by: Sentient1 | August 14, 2009 6:14 PM

People make mistakes..If your job description is to drive and you get a dwi, yes an employer would not want you anymore. Number one, most dwi conviction suspend your license for a month and then give you driving privileges.. Few employers can afford to have their employees not work for a month. Plus as your job entails driving you cannot perform your job functions. Also, their insurance probably would not allow it. Stallworth does not need to drive for his job. Driving is not part of his job description. For him to lose his job for life from a mistake that 1000's of American's make daily and 1000's get away with daily, is harsh and imo not just. If he was a race car driver imo it would be different...

Posted by: JBUD | August 18, 2009 5:02 PM

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