The New York Jets need to make a resounding statement against child endangerment by cutting defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson.
Richardson was arrested on July 14, shortly before midnight, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. He was charged with resisting arrest after police clocked him going as fast as 143 miles per hour in a 2014 Bentley Silver Spur.
Excessive speed is one thing, evading cops is another, but this story gets worse still: Richardson reportedly had a 12-year-old child in the car with him, the vehicle smelled of marijuana and the cops found a fully loaded semi-automatic handgun in the vehicle that Richardson may or may not have been reaching for before being ordered out of the car at gunpoint:
“An officer said in court documents that he ordered Richardson and the two male passengers out at gunpoint because Richardson at appeared to be reaching for something.”
Again, all this happened while a 12-year-old child was in the vehicle.
News about this arrest didn’t break until Thursday afternoon, after New York’s first training camp practice. Richardson worked with the second team, due to the fact he’s already been suspended by the league four games for violating the substance-abuse policy two weeks before this arrest.
Nobody knew about this when Richardson stood up in front of media after practice, defending himself after being busted by the league for marijuana:
“I’m not a dope fiend, man,” Richardson said, via the New York Daily News. “I can say no. I just chose not to. It was a depressing time in my offseason and that’s just that. It’s just that simple, bro.”
Richardson stood in front of everybody and acted like the only thing he had to account for was a failed drug test. Nobody else in that room knew he was in even hotter water—not even the Jets, according to Newsday’s Kimberley A. Martin:
#Jets had no knowledge of this Sheldon Richardson arrest
— Kimberley A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) July 30, 2015
By withholding this information from the Jets, Richardson made the entire franchise look bad.
So he failed a drug test, got suspended and offered a heartfelt apology.
Then two weeks later Richardson put himself, two other men, a 12-year-old child (and everybody else on the road at the time of his arrest) in danger driving a car that allegedly reeked of weed and contained a loaded semi-automatic handgun that he may or may not have reached for when the cops finally did catch him.
Then he didn’t tell anybody about it, showed up to camp and defiantly stated he’s “not a dope fiend, man.”
All after making empty promises to his teammates and the franchise that signs his checks that he’d never shame them again. Not only did he fail to live up to his vow, he took things to a whole other level of misconduct and put a child’s life in danger.
Forget about due process. Forget about letting the case play out in court. Let the NFL tarry in that realm while reserving ultimate league discipline until Richardson has had his day in court.
The Jets need to set an example and a precedent by cutting ties with him right now. What he did, allegedly, was unconscionable, inexcusable and reprehensible. Richardson doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt in this case and the Jets must be swift in their judgement against him.
Cut Richardson, and do it now.
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