The NFL and NFLPA do their best to warn young players of the potential risks and pitfalls of being professional football players and how best to avoid getting into trouble in the spotlight.
They might want to brush the youngsters up on a few legal basics, however.
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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell, who was arrested along with teammate LeGarrette Blount for possession of marijuana, was behind the wheel when the incident occurred. But Bell was surprised when the arresting officer mentioned three loaded letters: D, U and I.
According to Pittsburgh's WPXI Channel 11, which obtained the arrest report, Bell was a little shocked at what he had heard.
“I didn’t know you could get a DUI for being high. I smoked two hours ago. I’m not high anymore," Bell reportedly said. "I’m perfectly fine. Why would I be getting high if I had to make it to my game?”
Of course, just a moment earlier, per the criminal complaint, Bell told the officer that he had smoked "a minute ago" before then estimating that it really was within the "last two hours."
According to one medical journal review, marijuana users can experience a "distorted sense of time" after usage. (It's also one of the recurring gags in the stoner cult classic "Half Baked," starring a young Dave Chappelle, in case you're wondering.)
The game Bell was talking about was the Steelers' preseason affair against the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night, and Bell — who was left behind by the team — had to foot his own bill to get to the game.
Both players played in the game, combining for 55 yards in the Steelers' preseason loss to the Eagles. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he didn't consider benching either one.
“I have no reaction other than the statement that we released [Wednesday]," Tomlin said. "That conduct is detrimental to our efforts. They’ll be dealt with appropriately. I didn’t view it as punishment to send them home, to not play in this preseason game. I rather them play more."
Interesting. Odd, coach, but interesting.
The criminal complaint against Bell and Blount and a female passenger by the name of Mercedes Dollson said that all three claimed ownership of the marijuana and that they were "polite and cooperative with the police investigation."
It's good that Bell and Blount didn't try to run from responsibility here, but this is a defense — that Bell said he wasn't high anymore — that frankly might not hold its (bong) water.
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