UPDATE 11-13-12: It took nearly a month, but the Steelers have FINALLY released Ta’amu from the team! The embarrassing two week suspension clearly wasn’t going to be enough. I don’t know what they were thinking. A team can’t distance itself from that kind of aberrant behavior temporarily. The Steelers owed it to the community to cut ties with Ta’amu and his lifestyle immediately. This took way too long.
UPDATE 10-16-12: Mike Tomlin stepped up to express a more direct stance against Alameda’s drunken night of mayhem while handing down a suspension of two weeks, though we think he’ll need more time off than that! When you get drunk and try to run over a cop, you wind up with lengthy events in your calendar.
“We are disappointed to hear about the situation regarding Alameda Ta’amu,” and “We will gather more facts before providing any further comment,” are all that the Pittsburgh Steelers GM has to say about Ta’amu’s wild night of drunkenly terrorizing the citizens of the team’s home town. It sounds like the kind of thing you might say if somebody couldn’t make it to a game.
This is the common response we hear from team management whenever a player, coach, or manager can’t keep their drunkenness indoors. I can understand lawyers advising them not to speak about the particulars of an ongoing investigation. At the same time, this behavior of driving drunk and endangering people goes on and on even now that the dreaded and dangerous Off-Season has passed. These occasions present big opportunities for teams to come out in favor of public safety and express an official stance against drunk driving. Usually, this big opportunity is missed. Let’s take a look at what General Manager Kevin Colbert calls a “situation.”
Alameda Ta’amu’s arrest is one of those where blogs citing the police report detail everything that can go wrong with drunk driving short of somebody getting killed.
Where he was and who he was with before pouring himself into his Lincoln Navigator hasn’t been reported yet. But at nearly 350lbs, he did a considerable amount of drinking before committing mayhem in the streets to wind up blowing a .196 at the end of it all!
The part we know is that Ta’amu’s wild ride began when cops spotted him driving the wrong way on one street, then blowing through red lights, weaving and speeding, putting the lives of many pedestrians at risk.
At this point, it’s a chase and Ta’amu is ignoring orders to pull over and even attempting to run over one of the officers! Cops couldn’t shoot at him because, AGAIN, there were pedestrians and other drivers already at risk.
The first collision Ta’amu has is with a parked, though not empty car. Ta’amu sends that driver to the hospital and keeps on going. After hitting several other cars, his massive SUV couldn’t take it anymore and stopped running.
Ta’amu wasn’t done endangering the public yet. Not when he could continue his reign of terror by engaging the police in a foot chase, again with pedestrians and other drivers around. When the cops finally caught up to him, they are said to have had to use force to get him cuffed.
That is the “situation” General Manager Kevin Colbert is referring to! Now I ask you, what would be wrong with distancing yourself and your team from this type of behavior? What consequences could Colbert face for making a statement that the Steelers organization does not condone drunk driving and is concerned with public safety? Why act like you either don’t care or don’t understand? This is a sticky “situation” and it is stuck to the team. You can’t just shake it off, you need to remove it. The Steelers need to take a stand and the sooner, the better.
Focusing on Ta’amu, The Bleacher Report is asking the question we asked about Amanda Bynes, “Is this arrest just a symptom of a bigger problem?”