May 26 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Two arrests in one week, does that sound like the 49ers we know and love? It most certainly doesn’t. While this week has been anything but characteristic for the 49ers, it does worry me. First Vinny Sutherland is charged with a DUI, and now Jeremy Newberry has been charged for something along the lines of battery. Neither of these actions is excusable.
But what puzzles me most about the latest charge against Newberry is the double standard fans have presented between he and Sutherland. Both crimes (providing Newberry is found guilty) are equal in terms of severity. Fans however are quick to defend Newberry for allegedly teaming with his sister Jennifer, striking a woman - causing injuries to her face, nose, back and arm; but were very quick to call for Sutherland’s head. Certainly Newberry is a more important part of the team - but if he’s found guilty, he should be punished.
Newberry’s arrest came as quite a surprise. The typically gentle character has been an upstanding 49er for quite some time. Perhaps that’s why fans are quick to defend him. Quite honestly, until Newberry has either been found guilty or not - we can’t make a definitive statement on his status with the team. It’s possible, that the woman was trying to get a hold of a few million from Newberry’s latest contract - or that Newberry was trying to break up some sort of fight. Until the whole story is revealed we won’t really know. But a double standard - now that should not exist.
The 49ers will likely issue a statement on the matter shortly. Personally, I’m disgusted with both of these incidents. The 49ers make a point of bringing in character players to the team - to prevent such incidence. Perhaps in so doing, they have been a little less pro-active in reminding players about how important proper conduct is. This should serve as a good wake up call, and hopefully, Jeremy will be found not guilty, because he is truly a great football player.
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