Off-field Violence By NFL players “Not The Norm”

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Violent crimes committed by National Football Association players while “off the field”—including murder, manslaughter, robbery and sexual assault—are not as common as they may seem, according to a study published in the journal Deviant Behavior.

The study entitled “Are NFL Arrestees Violent Specialists or High Frequency Offenders or Both?” and conducted by researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Florida State University, analyzed 774 arrests among 573 football players from 2000 to 2014. Researchers found that 77 percent of the players had only one arrest during that time period, and only 27 percent of the arrests were for violent crimes, the study states.

“It’s a repeat behavioral problem among a very small fraction of people, and it’s that fraction of people who get all the attention,” one of the authors, Alex Piquero, a professor of Criminology at UT Dallas, said in a press release. “These incidents are horrific, but they’re not the norm. The majority of NFL players are never arrested, and if so, it’s usually only once.”

The study, co-authored by Wanda Leal and Dr. Marc Gertz, both of Florida State University, is available HERE for a fee.

(Journalists who would like to access a copy free of charge should email TCR Deputy Editor Alice Popovici at

Editor’s note: see our previous coverage of crime in the NFL HERE and an op ed by Piquero HERE.

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