The recent arrest of yet another Cincinnati Bengal, cornerback Johnathan Joseph, has members of the team up in arms.
The team’s front office did not comment on the latest arrest, saying its policy is to not comment on pending legal matters. But in his end-of-season news conference, coach Marvin Lewis said he would be far stricter with the team in 2007.
Defensive tackle John Thornton and other Bengals told the Cincinnati Enquirer that the arrests are dragging the team down. Everyone in the locker room is affected, he said.
“Willie [Anderson], Carson [Palmer], John Thornton, the guys who do things right, have been forced to answer for the guys who decided not to do the right thing,” linebacker Brian Simmons told the newspaper. “The perception of the team across the country is bad. It’s as if it’s going around like the plague.”
“If it doesn’t stop, we’re not going to have any fans left, and I don’t blame them. It’s ridiculous,” Palmer said in comments posted on the team Web site.
“We can’t get through a month without getting a guy arrested. It happens on another team and they’re shocked and surprised to hear about it,” Palmer said. “With us, you hear about it and it doesn’t surprise you and you just shake your head and say, ‘Another one,’ ” he said.
It seems that the embarrassment is finally getting to the team. Good. While I don’t wish the Bengals well, I also don’t like an entire franchise being seen as a negative force in the NFL. Getting several people on your team arrested over the course of a season is not good for a team or its fans. Here’s hoping that this stops, and that the Bengals learn to be law-abiding members of society.
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