Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dollars & Sense - Professional Athletes and DUI

$778... That was the government fine for Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo when he was arrest for driving under the influence earlier in the week.  $778 is .01-percent of Gallardo's annual salary of $5,500,000.  $778 is also infinitely more than the zero dollars that Gallardo was fined by Major League Baseball.  

Stepping out of his vehicle, Gallardo proceeded to blow a .22 blood alcohol level, nearly three times the legal limit of .08 in Wisconsin.  Although any level of intoxication is a dangerous level when operating a vehicle, Gallardo was teetering on the brink of disaster driving three times above the limit.  He recognizes that he was wrong, and he apologized to the Brewers' fans.  

Yovani Gallardo addresses reporters at Miller Park Tuesday afternoon.
Gallardo Apologizing (
But why has Major League Baseball handled player DUIs with the perhaps the most Seligian silence?
Aside from the fact that Bud Selig is still in charge of the MLB, the answer is unclear.  No less than 15 MLB players have been arrested for DUI over the past three years, and it is likely safe to assume that countless others have driven an gotten away with it.  

The point is not that DUI arrests plague the professional baseball headlines a handful of times or more over a season.  The is that the MLB has a chance to take a stand.  Nobody can necessarily stop this type of behavior besides each individual and their common sense, but the MLB can at least come out and say that something is wrong with this picture and take appropriate action.

(For more on the MLB's silence on DUIs, check out Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan.)

One thing is abundantly clear here and it is that everyone - not just athletes - need to take more responsibility when they are drinking and thinking about getting behind the wheel of a car.  There are plenty of services in place the get people home safely without taking unnecessary risk.  

Since it is also abundantly clear that many people cannot handle that type of responsibility, it is time for other forces to step in.. For baseball players, that force is the MLB.  Maybe discipline will not stop DUIs from occurring, just as there is still PED use and people still blatantly break the law.  But punishing players for DUIs will deter some, make others think twice, and shame those get caught.  And on top of that, punishing players for DUIs will make the MLB look like they actually care.

Follow Kevin Rossi on Twitter @kevin_rossi.

1 comment:

  1. So true, having sample of punishment of DUI arrest will help other people realize not to do the same thing and knowing the stress of being charged with DUI. Can ask help from DUI lawyer about it.

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