However, take a look around and unfortunately you're likely to see that more people that have been caught in the act than you'd expect.
To put it simply: it happens. And it doesn't make McKenzie a bad guy, a selfish guy or any of the other criticisms that have already started coming his way. Sure, it was definitely an error in judgment. Yes, a guy making multiple millions probably should have a personal driver. But, we all make mistakes. Football players do too. Just because they're in the public spotlight doesn t mean they should be held to any higher a standard than the rest of us. Just ask Charles Barkley.
I believe Tom Coughlin's decision to allow McKenzie to play against Baltimore was the absolute right thing to do. This country seems to have gotten away from the ‘innocent until proven guilty' motto that makes it so great. The legal system will run its course and at that time action will be taken against McKenzie, if action is even indeed warranted.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Commissioner Roger Goodell will review the case under the league's substance abuse policy.
According to that policy, discipline for a first offense – absent aggravating circumstances, which it doesn't appear exist – generally will be a fine of two game checks to a maximum of $50,000. If Goodell finds that there were aggravating circumstances and/or if the player has had prior drug or alcohol-related misconduct, discipline could include a suspension.
Of course, M cKenzie was apologetic and embarrassed. Needless to say, if he had to do it over again, he would.
"I spoke with coach Coughlin and [general manager] Jerry Reese (Friday) morning and expressed my remorse for last night's situation," McKenzie said in a statement released by the Giants. "I am prepared to deal with the consequences of that situation from both a legal standpoint and as a player in the National Football League."
Coughlin, rightly so, said the Giants were going to let the legal process run its course regarding the 29-year-old McKenzie.
"We are aware of the situation with Kareem," Coughlin said. "I spoke to him this morning. He is extremely remorseful. The legal process will take its course, and the league will handle this matter.
"Nobody will be harder on Kareem than Kareem himself. He is very conscientious and has been a first-class citizen since he arrived here with our organization."
Yes, he certainly has been. We're not defending McKenzie because he's a great guy, because he went to Penn State or because up to now in New York, he's been a model citizen for the Jets and Giants. Those statements just happen to also define him. We just don't think it's fair that he's rashly judged for one mistake, more so than a lifetime of exemplary actions.
Say it ain't so
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