Thursday, April 12, 2007 | 7:29 a.m.
Most professional athletes are law-abiding citizens who don't generate any controversy off the field. But a small percentage of their colleagues feel they are above the law, and they give sports a black eye through run-ins with police and illicit drug and steroid use. The time is long overdue for major sports leagues to clean up their acts.
Thankfully, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell took less than a year on the job to crack down on the misbehavior that has landed gridiron players on police blotters seemingly on a weekly basis. USA Today reported this week that more than 50 arrests have been made of NFL players since last year.
Goodell was justified Tuesday when he suspended two players, including the Cincinnati Bengals' Chris Henry for the first eight games of the 2007 season and the Tennessee Titans' Adam "Pacman" Jones for all of next season. Since entering the league in 2005, Jones has been arrested five times and has been questioned by police on five other occasions, the latest in connection with a February fight and shooting at the Minxx strip club in Las Vegas that left a security guard paralyzed. Metro Police have recommended that Jones be charged with a felony for his role in the melee.
We, along with countless other sports fans, hope Goodell's action will serve as a wake-up call. NFL players, and athletes in other major sports leagues for that matter, need to understand that reprehensible conduct - on and off the field - will no longer be tolerated.