Forget the fact that Leon Hall made the poor choice to drive intoxicated for a moment. I'm not here to be self-righteous and say that I (or many of our loyal comrades out there) have never gotten behind the wheel when maybe they should have called a cab. However, in the position that Leon Hall is in, with the ridiculous history Bengals players have created for themselves over the past three years, you would think an extremely intelligent guy like Hall would have better judgment.
What I am most perplexed about was the statement from the Bengals. I know that Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan is considered one of the best in the business, so this is not an indictment of him, but the message circulated by the Bengals is confusing to me.
“We were aware of the charge,” Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan said Wednesday. “Anybody can get charged with anything. We don’t feel it’s appropriate to comment on a legal matter that’s not resolved.”
Anybody can be charged with anything? Is that a fact? I've gone about a quarter-century without being charged for a crime, save for that midget prostitution charge a few years back, but we won't count that.
I fully understand that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but why do the Bengals have to (again) directly contradict a police action? If this was another team (Steelers), their quote on the subject would be something like this:
"We have been made aware of the disappointing charges against Mr. Hall. DUI is an offense that we take quite seriously, and we absolutely do not condone this type of behavior from anyone in the organization. However, we will refrain from further comment out of respect of Mr. Hall's rights so that the legal system can run its course."
Why is that so hard? Was Brennan's little dig a nod to what happened to Houston Texans RB Ryan Moats in Dallas? Back in 2007, after Chris Henry's traffic stop in Over-the-Rhine for failing to signal, Marvin Lewis made questionable comments (that he later retracted) about the Cincinnati Police Department. Essentially, he said that the Bengals were being targeted and failing to signal was a BS offense.
Look, I'm not looking to get into a big discussion over law enforcement. I'm just saying that the Bengals did a poor job in addressing the situation and demanding that their players hold themselves to a higher standard. In my opinion, it speaks volumes to how this organization is run.
(WLWT has the video of Hall's field sobriety test right here)