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Opinion: NFL have clauses about firearms and fireworks

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Sports are meant to be fun. That’s not always the cause when athletes get in trouble on a regular basis. When they get a mug shot, they make a bad name for themselves and also their team.

Their contracts that they sign have many clauses in them. The team that employs them has every right to do this, as they are trying to protect their investment.

However, there are some clauses that should be in those contracts – but are currently not in them. They may never be – but if they were, it would relieve some of the stress that the teams management faces when they get a black eye.

If a team can ban a player from using a jet ski in the off-season – which is one of the clauses in some team’s contracts – they should put these new clauses in contracts, too. They should put in clauses banning them from using firearms and fireworks.

We’re not sure any team will take us up on this offer. Yet, they should at least consider it, as it may keep their athletes away from the police blotter, or in a hospital.

In recent years, firearms have caused too many problems for athletes, especially in the NFL. And after Saturday night, they should also eliminate any players from dealing with fireworks.

Sure, one may say that they are just having fun. However, both are very deadly and can cause harm to themselves – and to others.

The NFL has had a history of players getting arrested for using guns – and you can add Saturday to that list, too. On July 4th, six-year Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless was arrested for discharging a firearm into the air outside of a parking garage that morning in Miami Beach.

The biggest black eye that they seen was a few years ago when former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his wife, then committed suicide in front of the team’s coaching staff and GM as police were approaching several years ago.

That happened during the Chiefs dreadful season that cost then-GM Scott Pioli and then-head coach Romeo Crennel on December 1st, 2012.

That’s the worst shooting news that has come out of the league in recent years. Former players committing suicide by firearms that have also affected the league, as numerous injuries and money problems led to their deaths.

The most prominent name of that bunch is Junior Seau, who shot his self in the chest on May 2nd, 2012. Like former NFL player Dave Duerson, Seau left a suicide note asking that his brain be tested for brain trauma.

Duerson, Belcher, and Seau all were confirmed to have CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) in their brains following damage sustained from their playing career. Belcher was the only active player during his death.

As far as current NFL players, Quarless is not the only player to be busted with firearms this off-season. His teammate and defensive tackle Letroy Guion was arrested on Feb. 3rd for possession of marijuana and a firearm, before the team re-signed him to a one-year contract at the end of March.

Also, former New York Jets running back Chris Johnson was arrested on Jan. 9th for carrying an open firearm, which is a second-degree misdemeanor, while being pulled over for rolling through a stop sign. Nearly two months later, also in Orlando, Fla., he was shot in the shoulder in a drive-by shooting that injured two, including Johnson, and caused the death of Dreekius Johnson.

There hasn’t been much information released since March about who shot at the former NFL player. He was released in Feb. after playing the 2014 season with the Jets.

Speaking of New York teams, the ‘other’ New York team had one of their players in the news on Sunday, as well. New York Giants Defensive End Jason Pierre-Paul escaped having his hand severely injured during his fireworks accident at his South Florida home.

According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, he could have blown off his hands. There’s a strong belief that he sustained nerve damage and burns to his hands – and was still in a Miami hospital as of Monday morning.

Hours after his incident came to life, the Giants decided to rescind a $60 million long-term contract. Yet, he has until July 15th to sign his $14.5 million franchise tender.

If he doesn’t sign that, then there’s a chance that he could become a free agent. But we shall see what happens as JPP can always hop a flight to the Big Apple to get his deal done.

The 26-year-old was just trying to celebrate Independence Day, like the rest of the country. However, while missing with fireworks, they can cause injury – and he’s learned – and even death.

Surely, this has caused the Pro Bowl star to re-think of ever playing with fireworks. And it should make the NFL enforce a stipulation in the players’ contracts so that they are not allowed to play with fireworks.

If they do that, it would mean that the players would not be injured while playing with them. This way, there would be no loss of limbs or any other bodily injury.

Unfortunately for the NFL, July 4th and Memorial Day weekend are the two worst holidays for the league. The players are not under supervision, as they are during the other holidays.

So, without any supervision, they are able to do whatever they want. And, as we’ve seen in the news, that’s not good.

 

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