For the 2nd time in less than a week, a Denver Broncos Executive has been charged with DUI. On July 6th, it was the Broncos Director of Player Personnel Matt Russell. Now, the teams Director of Pro Personnel who was hired about 2 months ago, Tom Heckert, is being charged with DUI.
The Denver Broncos released this statement upon hearing the news:
“We were made aware of the matter involving Tom Heckert immediately after it occurred and promptly notified the league office. His arrest is extremely upsetting, and this situation is being handled internally as well as in coordination with NFL policies.
Tom’s actions are obviously part of a disturbing pattern of irresponsible behavior that we are aggressively addressing within our organization. One member of the Broncos arrested for driving under the influence is one too many. This type of behavior puts innocent people at risk and cannot be tolerated. While our team and league supply plenty of resources to prevent these situations, it is clear we need to do better. We are thoroughly reviewing the procedures we have in place and will do whatever it takes to enhance their effectiveness going forward.”
The bottom line is this cannot, cannot, cannot, cannot, cannot happen under any circumstance. For a league doing anything and everything possible to protect and maintain its image, this does not reflect well at all, especially with what is going on with former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez who is facing first degree murder charges.
Usually you hear about assaults, carrying unauthorized guns, or other “minor” incidents that go away as time goes on. Hernandez’s murder charge isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
Other recent incidents around the league include Colts safety Joe Lefeged being arrested for gun charges in late June, Ausar Walcott being charged with attempted murder, and Josh Brent failing a drug test while awaiting a manslaughter charge.
These player incidents don’t appear to be going away soon, but the Executives getting into trouble must end now.
The team executives are the one’s who are supposed to be setting the examples. They are supposed to be the one’s that set the standards for proper behavior. The players should be behaving as well, but the execs should be held to a significantly higher standard.
The fact that 2 men, who were part of the same organization, were so irresponsible is completely unacceptable.
In 2010, the President of the Detroit Lions Tom Lewand was busted for DUI and commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for 30 days and fined him $100,000 dollars.
Both Heckert and Russell could lose their jobs for this, and Commissioner Goodell could step in as well as he stands by his no tolerance policy for the league.
The NFL had been so busy stopping their players from getting into trouble, and now it appears those in charge have to be monitored as well.