Detroit Lions used to apologizing for offseason arrests


The Detroit Lions are getting uncomfortably efficient at apologizing. Cornerback Aaron Berry's arrest on suspicion of DUI over the weekend was the team's sixth of the offseason, and the news came out complete with a statement from Berry and the Lions.

Don't get us wrong; it's good that Berry is publicly taking responsibility for his actions. (For comparison, Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley waited almost two weeks to apologize after his second arrest). It's just that all these apologies ring hollow after a while.

Lions arrested this offseason
Date Player Reason for arrest
Jan. 23 Johnny Culbreath Marijuana possession
Feb. 18 Mikel Leshoure Marijuana possession
March 12 Mikel Leshoure Marijuana possession
April 3 Nick Fairley Marijuana possession
May 27 Nick Fairley DUI, trying to elude police
June 23 Aaron Berry DUI, hit and run

Berry is a third-year pro whom the Lions have pumped up all offseason as the team's likely starting cornerback opposite Chris Houston. Berry is one of their guys. General manager Martin Mayhew and coach Jim Schwartz drafted the players accounting for the team's six arrests this offseason. They are all young guys on whom the organization is counting. This is not Matt Millen's fault.

The perception is that the Lions are a franchise out of control. They publicly insist that these are isolated incidents, and that's not a fair assessment. You could feel the frustration dripping from their statement Tuesday.

"We have strongly and repeatedly emphasized the need to be accountable on and off the field, which makes this incident with Aaron all the more disappointing," the statement read.

Perception becomes reality at some point. The Lions have crossed that threshold, and all the statements in the world won't change that.