Since Aaron Hernandez’s alleged involvement in the execution-style of Odin Lloyd has led us down a rabbit hole exposing multiple violent incidents in his past, a singular storyline has engulfed the league as a whole.
The 29 players arrested since the Super Bowl has painted the National Felons League as an organization chock full of recidivists, thugs and violent men using football as an outlet. If that’s true what does that say about the rest of us?
In 2010, one in every 45 National Football League players (2.2%) was arrested according to the FBI. The national arrest rate was 1 in 23 (4.2 %). Meanwhile the arrest rate in MLB and the NBA was higher than the NFL’s.
That same year, the NBA's 5.1% arrest rate was highest among the major North American sports leagues while MLB was second with a 2.1% rate.
These are young, immature millionaires in their early-20’s. Many of them are bound to make rash and poorly thought out decisions, but athletes taking the perp walk are outliers not the norm. The trend is the same when you limit your parameters to major felonies.
Via Yahoo's The PostGame:
In 2010, Major League Baseball players were arrested 16 times for major crimes like drug offenses and violent crimes. 34 pro football players were arrested for those offenses, which puts football and baseball at a similar rate of arrest (there are twice as many NFL players than MLB players). The NBA is the smallest league, and with 23 arrests, that puts their arrest rate at the top, at least for 2010.
The NFL is the most popular sport in our country and its rosters are the largest, therefore when arrests occur, they gain more publicity and the quantity of athletes improves those odds. The NFL does appear to have a problem with guns than should be addressed. Then again, so does society as a whole. Hopefully, the NFL makes more leeway than Congress.
On the other hand, the Adam Silver/David Stern-led NBA may have to address their own league's issues at some point down the line.