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ESPN The Magazine: Protect & Serve
July 24, 2016 – 11:50 am
Mark Seliger/ESPN The Magazine

ESPN The Mag: Protect & Serve

by Shaun Assael

ESPN The Mag

In days after Rae Carruths expecting gf had been shot and killed in November 1999, Charlotte authorities bore upon the Carolina Panthers, attempting to interview players who had spent time using large receiver. Whatever they found had been a wall. Panthers security main Gene Brown declined to allow them in to the locker room, provide them with access to people details or provide all of them with telephone numbers. Neighborhood police force eventually built its instance, and Carruth is providing an 18-to-24-year phrase for conspiring to possess Cherica Adams murdered. But resentment lingers. I obtained zero collaboration through the Panthers, claims Tom Athey, a Charlotte homicide detective. Ive never ever heard everything from those people except the word no. Adds another high-level cop: Teams are likely to protect their particular players no matter what. If you allow them to police on their own, youre simply seeking trouble.

The very last thing NFL Security chief Milt Ahlerich requires is difficulty - particularly the sort of difficulty that lands him on Nightline. He's their arms complete guarding the $17.2 billion financial investment that TV sites made in NFL country, the half-billion-dollar cost that hangs off each one of the leagues 32 franchises while the perspiration equity that 1, 800 players have poured in their careers.

But Ahlerich will maybe not apologize when it comes to Panthers. While were police by heritage, weren't police force right here, and now we do not try to do work for all of them, he claims. I've no problem utilizing the Panthers conduct. Translation: We Protect Our Own. The NFL is crawling with ex-cops. Two-thirds of their clubs have actually full-time protection chiefs. But once an instance gets big enough to jeopardize the games integrity - or about rile commissioner Paul Tagliabue - Ahlerich receives the call.

For decades, people have actually feared visits from NFL safety agents. As well as for valid reason. Players Association mind Gene Upshaw, a Raiders hall-of-famer which played from 1967 to 1981, remembers sitting through education camp lectures in which representatives warned, you will be the grass, men - and we also would be the grass mowers. Inside the autobiography, Lawrence Taylor composed about being tailed by NFL cops as he became addicted to coke in 1984. Eleven many years later, the NFL ended up being nevertheless at it, staking out a post-Super Bowl gambling cruise with unique performers, a nude limbo contest - and four dozen people on board. And before he came into the league in 1995, Warren Sapp blasted the company for providing teams a secret report that he claims exaggerated how many times he were unsuccessful medicine tests as a Miami Hurricane. Sapp never ever saw the report nor had to be able to rebut it, and reported it cost him a hefty signing extra when his draft condition tumbled.

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