Super Bowl site Miami ranks No. 1 in NFL players getting in trouble

Super Bowl site Miami ranks No. 1 in NFL players getting in trouble


MIAMI — It’s been more than 20 years since Eugene Robinson was arrested the night before he played in the Super Bowl for the Atlanta Falcons. But his cautionary tale still looms large as the Kansas City Chiefs prepare to play the San Francisco 49ers at the Super Bowl Sunday in Miami Gardens.

Robinson was caught soliciting a prostitute in Miami, a city notorious for its never-ending night life, rife with bars, dance clubs, strip clubs and anything else party-goers are looking for. While both teams are expected to counsel their players about the perils of Miami’s streets and the importance of staying in their team hotels, the lure of the pulsing beats in the “Magic City” are hard to ignore. 

The Miami metro area has had by far the highest number of NFL player arrests and citations since 2000, according to a database of more than 950 such incidents compiled by USA TODAY Sports. Over that time, at least 60 active NFL players were arrested or cited in the Miami metro area, with only a third of those playing for the Miami Dolphins. The next biggest hot spots for NFL player trouble are metro Atlanta, New York, Denver and Minneapolis, each with a little more than 40. 

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South Beach figures to be a popular spot for NFL players and party-goers in the week leading up the Super Bowl LIV.

Fifty-six of the 60 incidents around Miami involved African-American players. Three were Polynesian, one Hispanic, and none were white. In the NFL, team rosters since 2000 have been about 60% to 70% African-American and about 30% white, according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.

Such lopsided numbers raise an issue that former players say is a major reason Miami leads the league in arrests: a long-standing pattern of racial profiling in South Florida, where many NFL players have lived. But they concede that there’s another important factor.


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