Justin Blackmon doesn’t have a drinking problem. That’s great, but he does have a problem acknowledging that he’s unfit to safely drive a vehicle when he’s been drinking, which is becoming a fundamental flaw in his character.
Blackman did the equivalent of his walk of shame earlier this afternoon, holding the inevitable hollow press conference and offering an empty apology for his latest drunk driving incident Sunday morning. At least he was aware of the nothingness central to the charade.
“Words are words. It’s my actions that are going to have to show,” he said.
Flanked by three solemn authority figures in the form of team owner Shahid Khan, GM Gene Smith, and his head coach Mike Mularkey, he fed them a bunch of, um, Mularkey after the apology.
“I just think I made a poor choice. I put myself in a bad situation. It’s completely my fault. I’ve just got to make better judgment on that.”
We wrote this earlier this week, and we’ll keep writing it as long as references to a choice (as in one, a singular choice) continue to be made. This isn’t one isolated mistake by Blackmon, as his charge for aggravated DUI in the early hours of morning Sunday when nothing good can happen was his second such charge since 2010.
He surely realizes his mistake, and we trust that he’s showing genuine remorse. But that’s irrelevant if he can’t control his actions in the moment. No one’s asking Blackmon to be a regular designated driver. Instead, Khan, Mularkey, and an entire fan base are wondering if a fifth overall pick who isn’t even signed yet can function like a normal adult, and make an intelligent decision when he’s had a few too many big boy beverages.
As far as his contract is concerned, Smith acknowledged that it could be affected, and so it should be. Not significantly, mind you, but it should be lowered enough to quickly remind Blackmon that playing in the NFL is a highly-desired privileged, and he’s representing an organization and a league both on and off the field.
Maybe he should have taken a drive south to sit in on Eric LeGrand’s speech.