The NFL has a drunk-driving problem. No I’m not talking about the traffic leading from the stadium following the games; I’m talking about the player arrests that seem to be increasing every year. The most common charge among player arrests in the offseason; DUI. There were 31 player arrests this offseason and 10 of them were intoxication-related. In response, the NFLPA has partnered with Uber Technologies to provide players with a smartphone app to connect them with drivers.
The league already had a driver program in place that provided rides for players upon request. The biggest reason why the program wasn’t utilized was the lack of privacy for the players. Players thought that if the organization knew their whereabouts and night-life habits it could potentially harm them come contract-negotiation time. Now is the time to get up on a high horse and lambaste the NFL player community for their utter stupidity in taking their lives and the lives of others into their own hands all for the sake of making sure their team owner doesn’t know how many nights a week they like to go make it rain at the local strip club. But the reality is that for most people, the only difference between someone with a DUI on their record and someone without one is that one person got caught and the other didn’t. The difference between an NFL player and a regular person with a DUI is much more staggering.
According to an ESPN report the new technology will provide rides to players through an app on their smartphone via their GPS without them having to give a phone number or address. According to Pro Football Talk’s report by Mike Florio, which cited The New York Times’ piece by Ken Belson on the topic, players will get a credit to start the service.
“Players will receive a $200 credit as an inducement to use the service, which as the grant of $200 in credits implies won’t be free. But that shouldn’t matter; the players can afford to pay for a ride home. No matter what it costs, it’ll have less total cost to the player than a DUI.”
Since we are now living in a society where it’s more common to be dependent upon your mobile device than ever before, it makes sense to use that dependency for a greater good. The only problem left would be if the players will actually use it or not. Don’t forget that alcohol impairs your judgment. Almost nothing seems like a bad idea after enough shots. Best policy to have is to not drive to an event you’ll be drinking at. Take that option away from yourself from the beginning. Instead of “Don’t Drink and Drive” how about “Don’t Drive to Drink”. You can’t drive home drunk if you didn’t drive yourself to the bar in the first place. Ever gone out for the night drinking and didn’t have to drive there? What freedom! It’s glorious.