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SBD/September 5, 2013/NFL Season Preview
NFL Still Seeing Numerous Arrests Despite Goodell's Attempt To Clean Things Up
Published September 5, 2013
SAFETY MEASURE: In Denver, Steve Raabe reports the NFLPA and S.F.-based Uber Technologies yesterday announced a new partnership "for pro football players to get rides around town." Players "can use Uber's smartphone application to connect with a limousine or town car company." Anyone "can already use the Uber service, but the partnership with the NFLPA will provide players with keychain cards loaded with ride credits" (DENVER POST, 9/5). NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith said that the partnership with Uber will "raise awareness among players that, in many cities, they have a safe, sleek alternative" to driving drunk. Smith: "We know that discipline certainly plays a part in changing behavior. But we really wanted to start this look at trying to do a better job by treating this as a public health and public safety (issue). This partnership with Uber is something we believe meets that.” WIRED.com's Marcus Wohlsen noted while Uber is "available in slightly more than half the 31 cities with NFL teams, many of the league’s DUI incidents over the past year happened in places where Uber isn’t an option, at least not yet" (WIRED.com, 9/4). Uber plans to increase its availability from 17 NFL cities to 20 "by the first quarter of 2014." Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said that the company is "trying to change local laws in Houston and Miami that block companies like Uber" (SFGATE.com, 9/4).
NOT ENOUGH: USA TODAY's Christine Brennan writes the NFLPA "can throw all the smartphone technology it wants at the issue of drunk driving, but it will never be enough." Players "always will want to show off their cars, even more so when they aren't thinking clearly." They will "say they are OK to drive home no matter how drunk they are," and they will "always be concerned that teams can track their use of the app, potentially getting them into trouble in whole new ways" (USA TODAY, 9/5).