NFL Surprisingly On Track For Low Number Of Arrests In 2014

Statistically, NFL players are better behaved than the average American when it comes to trouble with law enforcement.

NFL Surprisingly On Track For Low Number Of Arrests In 2014

In the NFL, it seems like player, after player, after player, after player is getting in trouble these days for domestic violence.

KNXV: "Did you throw a shoe at the 18-month old?"

"I would never hurt my son."

"Do you hope to play football again?"

"I will."

But, believe it or not, despite all this recent media coverage, NFL players don't get in trouble a with the law as often as you might think. In fact, they have a lower arrest rate than the general public. 

Most outlets referred to data from USA Today, which lists NFL players and their run-ins with the law. That includes everything from being arrested to being detained, cited or indicted on charges. That data shows NFL players are much, much more likely to be arrested for driving under the influence than domestic violence. 

According to data compiled by FiveThirtyEight, domestic violence came fifth on the list, after DUI, non-domestic assault, drug-related charges and disorderly conduct. This chart also shows how far NFL players trail the national average of arrests per 100,000 a year. 

Their national average data looked at only men from ages 25 to 29 since the average age of an NFL player is between 25 and 27.  

The New York Times on the other hand, started by taking a look at arrest data by year since 2000. According to their data, 2006 was the highest with 68 arrests. 2014 is shaping up to be the year with the fewest. 

Vocativ compared the four main pro sports leagues' arrest rates and found, over the last five years, the NFL and NBA had far and away the highest number of arrests, much more than the MLB and NHL. The outlet also wrote, "Every league had at least one domestic abuse incident since 2010, though both the MLB and NHL had years without any such arrests." 

So, from a statistical standpoint, the NFL may not be as in bad of shape with the law as recent high-profile media reports would suggest. 

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, accused of endangering a child, and Carolina Panthers defensive lineman Greg Hardy, who's appealing his conviction of domestic abuse against his then-girlfriend, have both been placed on the NFL's exempt / Commissioner's list indefinitely, meaning they're not allowed at team facilities. 

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is currently a free agent after being cut by the team and suspended indefinitely by the NFL for admitting to hitting his now-wife

USA Today's numbers also include instances where charges were dropped against players. The outlet says some players may not be listed due to lack of media reports or accessibility to public records.