Over the past several years, pro football players have been embroiled in one controversy after another over criminal behavior, from drunken driving to theft to rape to firearms violations. There was once a joke about why a coach for the Dallas Cowboys carried a pistol to an airport security checkpoint: Because he wanted to join his players in prison.
It's time for the owners to put their collective foot down. Too often, players who engage in this kind of activity are shielded by the NFL and its owners, in the name of winning. Some teams are more notorious than others; the Oakland Raiders, for example, have a particularly bad reputation in this regard.
I don't believe much in the idea that players should act as role models, but the simple fact is that they will be, to a large segment of the population. The owners should recognize that, as well as the simple fact that having a large part of the team implicated in things like the sex party is harming their public perception, and unceremoniously throw criminals out of the game. No, I'm not saying we should ignore the principle of "innocent until proven guilty", by any means. However, throwing criminals out of the league would send an unmistakable message that the game cannot tolerate that kind of thing any longer.