Tag Archives: carolina panthers

Media Reacts: NFL’s First Month in 6 Years With No Arrests

by Nicholas Muhl

The first month of the 2015 NFL regular season ended this past weekend. The end of September also marked the first month in 6 years that no NFL player has been arrested.

According to Reuters reporter Mike Rosenberg, the NFL has averaged “an arrest per week” since 2009. Rosenberg also reported that this is the first time in 15 years “the NFL went a calendar month during the season without an arrest.” The league has already had 33 total arrests in 2015, most recently San Fransisco 49ers Linebacker Ahmad Brooks who was charged with sexual battery at the end of August.

Alexandra Sifferlin reported the news for TIME and included a link in his article to USA Today’s NFL arrest archive. The archive contains a complete, descriptive account of a total of 805 NFL player arrests records dating back 15 years to January 24, 2000 when Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith was arrested for allegedly beating and choking his wife. It seems paradoxical that 15 years later we continue to see so many similar headlines. Katie Link and Christian Bryant of the Ventura County Star posed this question about the news of an arrest-free month, “should we view this ‘achievement’ as pathetic, or impressive?” On the other hand, the Dispatch Times referred to it as a “mind-blowing milestone.”  

Since 2009 the NFL has been subject to many media and criminal investigations regarding their many player arrests. Most notably is former New England Patriots Tight End Aaron Hernandez who was convicted of murder in April. Hernandez and other high profile players like former Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, San Francisco’s Ray MacDonald, Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice, and Viking’s Adrian Peterson have made national headlines and brought up many social issues outside of the sport of football; including rape culture, drug use, animal cruelty, and alcohol and drug abuse. 

The criminal history and violent backgrounds behind many NFL players is not an issue the media has shied away from reporting. However, it is important to note that news of the NFL’s arrest-free month quickly spread on social media, sports blogs and major media conglomerates. This differs from the issue of injuries which I detailed in my article last week, “Protecting the player’s or Protecting the Shield”. Approximately 15 percent of players in the league have experienced an injury this season. While on an individual level this has been heavily reported, injuries and their increasing totals have been a largely avoided issue. However, media and the league did not shy away from making sure (quite literally) that everyone knows it went through an arrest-free month. The NFL and it’s PR department have attempted to put some distance between itself and both the injury and conduct issues the league faces, and will jump at any opportunity they can to make the league look better as it and commissioner Roger Goodell continue to face extreme criticism for the way the league is currently being run. It remains to be seen whether real change is progressing in the league or if this month was merrily a statistical anomaly that further proves the major conduct issues the NFL faces.

A Carolina Miracle: Panthers QB Newton Sustains Minimal Injuries After Severe Accident

By Savannah Malnar

December 9th could have been a tragic day for the NFL. Cam Newton, starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, was hospitalized in what looked like a deadly car wreck. Every image of the accident looked like something out of an action movie.

The initial reports of the accident included a picture of Newton smiling at the camera while being attended to by paramedics at the scene. He came out of the accident with just a few fractures in his back and was transported to Carolinas Medical Center for precautionary measures and has since been released. His fractures are extremely similar to the injury that sidelined Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo for one game early in the season. Newton had been going the posted speed limit in an intersection notorious for being dangerous; a car clipped the back of his truck and caused it to flip multiple times.

Just a few days later, Newton spoke directly to the media regarding his accident. He strayed away from talking about himself, saying “As far as when I’m coming back, who cares.” He expressed his concern that his injury was an unnecessary distraction and that the media and fans need to be instead focused on supporting the Panthers’ backup Derek Anderson in Sunday’s key game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Panthers need to win against Tampa Bay in order to keep their postseason hopes alive.

Despite not wanting his accident to become a distraction, the media certainly has pounced on it. Many articles have been published simply quoting Newton’s entire Instagram post that included a picture of his demolished truck and a lengthy yet inspiring caption all about living life to the fullest and not holding grudges.

Newton has retained an exceptional attitude throughout the days following his accident. His words to the fans and the media have been encouraging and uplifting and truly show his thankfulness that he survived a crash that many would not. Reports said that initially he seemed upset that he had let his team down, which sounds funny coming from a guy who did nothing to cause the accident. But on Thursday he said, “It’s no time to sulk. There is something that has to be done come Sunday. I’m excited about it. I’m going to be the biggest supporter.”