Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent has applied for reinstatement into the National Football League and will reportedly meet with commissioner Roger Goodell next week.
Former Cowboys DT Josh Brent will meet with Roger Goodell by end of next week in effort to gain reentry to NFL, per his agent Peter Schaffer
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 31, 2014
If Brent’s name sounds familiar, it should. He was released earlier this year after serving a 180-day prison sentence for a conviction of intoxication manslaughter stemming from an incident in which his then teammate Jerry Brown was killed.
This meeting couldn’t possibly come at a worst time for Goodell, especially after the public backlash to the two-game suspension that Ray Rice received. Considering that these types of situations are few and far between, it remains to be seen how the powers to be in the NFL will react to Brent’s application for reinstatement. Furthermore, there are questions about whether any NFL team will give him a second chance.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seemed to show some support for Brent on Wednesday, indicating that Brent is “contrite” about the accident and “has a lot of resolve” to continue his career (via DallasCowboys.com).
Jones also showed some uncertainty about whether Brent will be able to return to the league (H/T Pro Football Talk).
Well, I will look at that, but I don’t want to get ahead of our self in any way to look presumptuous relative to the commissioner or anybody else in the National Football League…I don’t want to do that, because I don’t know that he can be reinstated.
There is definitely something to be said about giving people second chances. Brown’s family accepted Brent’s apology after the incident and even invited him to attend the funeral. Brent also asked the blessing of Brown’s family to seek reinstatement, and the family granted it. If they are willing to forgive, why can’t we? While that might be a strong initial stance to take, it’s important to note that Brent did cause the death of a teammate because he failed to act responsibly at a time when that’s becoming a norm around the league.
If Goodell wants to take a stand and show the public that he’s not going to continue taking off-field incidents lightly, this would be a perfect time. With that said, this might not be the right case to take that stand.