The acronym DUI has not been good to Utah sports athletes. In a way, the term makes some players go a little D-O-I–forgetting for a moment that they play a vital role in society for both their team and for the fans who follow their every move religiously.
They still go out on the town though, drinking away this disposable income of theirs, canoodling around with their buddies and other hangers-on, singing karaoke as they request another, please.
They drink and they drink, forget who they are–and most important, where they are–for a second and hop into a moving vehicle. Let’s stop right here.
What on Earth are these athletes thinking when they stumble into and then attempt to drive a moving vehicle covered in metal and other potential projectiles like glass and uh, well, dunno–gasoline?
Former Real Salt Lake soccer midfielder Sebastian Velasquez is one such example of someone going a little DOI, having seen his fledgling career at the MLS club go slightly awry one night on Interstate 15 when police stopped him for reportedly going 84 in a 65 mph zone at about 2700 South. Velasquez failed his sobriety test that night, and so paid a heavy fine because of his drunkenness.
How heavy was the price? How about his career with the club for starters. To give you an idea how quickly RSL acted, Velasquez’ arrest took place last October. By December, the club traded the uber-talented playmaker to New York City FC for allocation money–this after he had played in just a handful of games that season, scoring just one goal for the claret and cobalt.
Now comes word that former Utah Utes cornerback Sean Smith received a three-game suspension Friday, July 24 from the National Football League for DUI charges he pled gulity to several months earlier. What, couldn’t have these guys hailed a cab or called Uber?
Normally, the NFL only suspends players two games for a DUI. But, Smith did hit a light pole with his vehicle on his dazed journey and broke the sucker in two. That act probably warranted the league to impose the harsher penalty. The Chiefs, Smith’s employer, seem to have no problem with the decision to give it to Smith.
“We respect and support the league’s decision in this matter and will have no further comment on the situation,” the Chiefs said in a brief statement Friday.
But there is a slight problem here. Smith’s in a contract year. He needs more games this season like the desert needs the rain. And so now that Smith has three less games to play in this his contract season, well, things are not exactly hunky dory for the former Ute.
When asked during workouts last month whether Smith expected to be suspended, he replied: “I don’t know. I have no control over that. I just wake up, come to work and do my job.” His job for the most part on the field has been solid. He played in all 16 games for Kansas City last year, helping lead his defense to a ranking of second best in the league.
In the meantime, tack another Utah sports athlete to the list of players who ended up getting a little D-O-I after getting a DUI. What happens after this for Smith is up to him. But it doesn’t look too good on the surface–particularly not in a contract year.