New York (AFP) - Minnesota Vikings officials are backing receiver Michael Floyd's fight against a house arrest violation that could land him in jail, one he says was caused by tea that contains alcohol.
Floyd said in a sworn affidavit, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press newspaper, that the Vikings encourage players to drink kombucha tea as a health drink, saying it is served "on tap" at the team's headquarters.
Floyd is fighting a ruling that he violated terms of his house arrest by accidentally ingesting alcohol contained in the tea.
Vikings chief operating officer Kevin Warren wrote a letter to Floyd's lawyer backing his claim that he did not know kombucha tea contains alcohol. Floyd drank several bottles while watching movies in the early morning of June 11.
Floyd, 27, later failed three self-administered Breathalyzer tests.
Scottsdale (Arizona) City Judge Statia Hendrix ordered Floyd to appear Monday and prove he did not violate probation from his extreme drunk driving conviction in February, a violation that could lead to jail time.
Floyd, his attorney and the Vikings hope the judge will cancel the hearing and reinstate electronic monitoring for the final five days of Floyd's 96-day home confinement.
"I am writing to request Mr. Floyd not have his court mandated requirements negatively impacted since he did not know the kombucha he ingested contained alcohol," Warren wrote in the June 21 letter.
Warren said the fermented tea is "utilized by many professional athletes as a probiotic and is available at our facility on a daily basis."
Floyd was arrested last December in Scottsdale for drink driving, prompting the NFL's Arizona Cardinals to release him. He pleaded guilty in February and served 24 days in jail before having to serve the final 96 days on house arrest.
The New England Patriots signed Floyd and he caught one pass in the regular season and one in the playoffs but was not activated for their Super Bowl victory over Atlanta.
He became a free agent in March and signed a one-year deal with Minnesota in May. He is likely to face an NFL-imposed suspension as a result of his guilty plea in February.
Floyd has 246 receptions for 3,781 yards and 24 touchdowns in 78 career NFL games.