If you take a look at the arrests of Phoenix professional athletes over the past dozen years or so, they involve not only DUI’s, but also assaults, drug charges, domestic violence, and others. We thought it would be interesting to examine one article (20 Most Memorable Arrests of Phoenix Athletes), published a few weeks ago, and see if there were any conclusions we could draw from the list.
Before looking at the specifics of the arrests, we assumed there would be a few DUI’s, but were a bit surprised at how the arrests lined up among present and former Phoenix pros:
- DUI. As expected, there was no shortage of DUI arrests among pro athletes in Arizona. They included Stephon Marbury (Suns); Cliff Robinson (Suns); David Boston (Cardinals); Jason Richardson (Suns); Tom Chambers (Suns); Mark Grace (Diamondbacks); and Charles Barkley (Suns).
- Drugs. We frankly expected that more of the top 20 group would involve drugs, but all we found were the arrests of Michael Beasley (Suns) for possession of marijuana, and Cliff Robertson for the same offense. Robertson, of course, was also arrested for DUI.
- Theft. It’s a common arrest among the general population, but not so prevalent among the rich kids of professional sports. Notable exceptions were Rex Chapman (Suns) for shoplifting, and Richard Dumas (Suns), for stealing at his job.
- Domestic Violence. Here’s one that might be a shock to many folks. The group includes seven arrests (over a third of the top 20) for domestic violence. They include Jason Kidd (Suns); Daryl Washington (Cardinals); Alberto Callaspo (Diamondbacks); Mario Bates (Cardinals); Bobby Chouinard (Diamondbacks); Michael Pittman (Cardinals), arrested for DV twice in one month; and Jonathan Dwyer (cardinals).
The remaining arrests in the group were for fighting and/or assault.
So what does all this mean? Well, we wouldn’t want to suggest drawing hard and fast conclusions, since our starting point consists of 20 players and former players whose arrests someone thinks are noteworthy. On the other hand, when you consider that 60% or more of domestic violence incidents involve alcohol, and you add in the DUI’s and drug possession charges, you might come to the conclusion that there is a substance abuse problem among pro athletes in Arizona.
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