Whoever finally convinced Roger Goodell and the NFL that having a team and holding events in Las Vegas was a good idea really pulled a fast one. Vegas claimed another NFL player on Sunday night, following the AFCs’ 41-35 victory over the NFC.
This time New Orleans Saints Pro Bowler Alvin Kamara was the individual being arrested by the Las Vegas police department after an altercation in a nightclub where the victim claims they were battered by Kamara.
This is just the latest incident in the ongoing drama of the NFL in Sin City. Most reasonable adults likely cringed, then face to palmed upon first hearing of the NFL’s plan to venture into the land of gluttony. Now, this isn’t an indictment of Las Vegas because, let’s be honest, Kamara’s incident could have happened to any 26-year-old at any nightclub in America. But make no mistake about it, this is an indictment on Goodell and the 31 owners who voted in favor of placing a team in Las Vegas.
The Raiders have had three players arrested this season alone. Henry Ruggs III, Damon Arnette, and Nate Hobbs, all taken into custody during the 2021 season by LVPD. Ruggs and Hobbs were both DUI arrests, with Ruggs’ unfortunately involving a fatality. Josh Jacobs was also arrested on DUI charges in January of last year. Former Raider Javon Walker was robbed and beaten up in Las Vegas in 2008, long before the team made their move.
There is a history of professional athletes and Vegas not being a good mix. The NBA even had their own disastrous weekend for the 2007 All-Star Game. Over 400 reported arrests took place following the game on the Las Vegas strip. In 2015, NHL player Jarrett Stoll was arrested by LVPD for drug possession. So, it obviously doesn’t matter the league, but we’re seeing these situations more often in the NFL.
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I’m not absolving any of these players of their actions. But sometimes, you’ve got to protect people from themselves. Having all these young men who, for the most part, are under 30 years old, with money and access to anything they could ever dream of, is a horrible idea for a one-day, one-time event. Now you multiply that by making Las Vegas a team’s permanent home, and the chances for chaos are insurmountable. The mixture of alcohol, drugs, partying, sex and gambling, and it was inevitable that these types of reports would begin to pile up once professional teams began calling Las Vegas home.
The NFL boasts about their changes to the game and how they care so much about player safety. Yet, they just added a 17th game to the schedule this year and are reportedly already looking into adding an 18th. Yes, a 19-week season will likely be coming soon to an NFL city near you. The NFL cares about profits and the pocketbooks of its owners. And I get it, they are running a business just like any other. Just stop trying to sell fans on how much you care about your players. You DON’T. They’re all expendable in the eyes of these 32 owners. All of whom look nothing like the vast majority of their employees on the field.
Goodell and the league knew what troubles would be encountered by moving a team to Las Vegas. And let’s not forget the most powerful NFL owner, Jerry Jones, was a huge proponent of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas. Jones worked hard behind the scenes using his power and influence to assure this deal went according to plan. Jerry helped draw up the blueprints that made the Las Vegas Raiders possible.
While the players should definitely be held accountable for poor decision-making, so should the NFL for deciding to call Las Vegas one of its 32 homes.