Titans sensitive to issue of NFL players' DUI arrests - WSMV Channel 4

Titans sensitive to issue of NFL players' DUI arrests

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Former Titans' WR Chris Sanders Former Titans' WR Chris Sanders
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Another tragedy off the field has brought to light a deadly problem within the National Football League.

A player for the Dallas Cowboys is facing serious charges for allegedly driving under the influence and being behind the wheel during a crash that killed a teammate last weekend.

It was the 18th time this year that an NFL player has been arrested on suspicion of DUI, and in the last 12 years, some 28 percent of all NFL players' arrests occurred because of DUI involving alcohol or drugs, according to USA Today.

That is a statistic the Tennessee Titans, and the rest of the league, takes very seriously.

"It could happen to anyone," said Titans Head Coach Mike Munchak. "And I think it really hits home with guys that you're not invincible."

Former Titans' wide receiver Chris Sanders said he is tired of seeing the pattern continue, only to have it swept under the run until the next incident.

"When you look at the last couple of years - there's so many things going on, but has anything changed? Absolutely not," Sanders said.

Cowboys' nose tackle Josh Brent posted $500,000 bond Sunday and walked out of jail a day after the car he was driving flipped near Dallas. His passenger and teammate, Jerry Brown Jr., was killed.

It is the third time since 1998 that an NFL player killed another person because of suspected DUI. The last two involved former Tennessee Volunteers football players Leonard Little and Donte Stallworth.

"We have to figure out the problem, get to the root of the problem and decide how can we help these guys not get in that position," Sanders said. "If we deal with addiction, then you don't have the effect of guys getting into cars and killing somebody."

Studies show 21-to-34-year-old men are responsible for 42 percent of all fatal DUI crashes across the country. The average age for NFL players is 21 to 36 years old.

"You think, 'you're an athlete, that won't happen to me,'" Munchak said.

The Titans, along with the rest of the NFL's teams, participate in a safe-ride program the players can use to pick them up when they should not be driving.

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