Cowboys Jerry Brown Killed by Close Friend and Teammate, Josh Brent in Drunk Driving Accident.

The Dallas Cowboys are reeling from the effects of a horrific drunk driving crash which has taken the life of one player and ripped the other from the team.

Josh Brent and Jerry Brown Jr. were longtime friends, having played together at University of Illinois before making it into the NFL and ultimately winding up as teammates once again on the Cowboys.  They were playing together when Brent plead guilty to DUI in 2009.  This led to his suspension from Illinois and apparently, his initiation into the NFL.

Josh Brent mugshot from Irving Police Department
Josh Brent mugshot from Irving Police Department

Fast-forward to Friday night ahead of Sunday’s game in Cincinnati.  Josh and Jerry were preparing by going out on the town.  Once the bars closed, they sped off with Josh at the wheel, impaired and Jerry, a doomed passenger of a drunk driver.  Josh hit a curb with his Mercedes.  It flipped over, slid 300 yards down the road, and caught on fire.  Though impaired, Josh was coherent enough to realize he had to get himself and Jerry out of the car.

As police arrived on the scene, Josh was dragging his friend from the burning vehicle in an attempt to save his life.  Jerry Brown Jr. was pronounced dead after being transported to the hospital.  Josh Brent has been arrested and charged with Intoxicated Manslaughter.

Josh has killed his friend and his career.  He tore apart two families and his team.

Although dozens of people were killed by drunk driving yesterday, this case throws a huge spotlight at drunk driving within the NFL.  I’m doing that right now, but let’s be clear about something.  The NFL is a microcosm of American society and while it may seem like a different world altogether, there is one important way that the NFL is just like everybody else.  As a culture, The NFL faces the same societal issues we all do, including drunk driving.  The glare of the spotlight shows that drunk driving continues to be an issue for the NFL for THE SAME REASON that it continues to be an issue for us all.

Jerry and Josh were friends and teammates.  They had a tendency to overlook each others’ weaknesses and flaws.  There is a correlation between these two men and millions of groups of friends and coworkers across the country.  When Josh would drink, Jerry would look the other way; perhaps not physically, but mentally.  Josh would be ready to leave, grabs his keys, and Jerry would just say, “See ya,” or like Friday night, get in the car with him.

These people are just like you and me and everyone we know.  We ignore our own behaviors and ignore or even support the behaviors of our friends, family, and coworkers.  Drunk driving is a huge issue for the NFL just like it is a huge issue for the rest of us.  What happened last night is continuously happening the same way everywhere around us.  Our culture permits drunk driving even if our laws do not.  The only real solution is for each of us to adopt drunk driving as a behavior we will not stand for.  It isn’t enough to say, “I won’t do it”.  We have to take a stand against those around us doing it too.  We need to watch ourselves AND each other.  We need to prevent instead of ignore.

Sources used:

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Allen Porter
Dedicated to teaching and inspiring the prevention of drunk driving.

4 Responses

  1. Ernesto
    Ernesto October 28, 2016 at 12:49 pm |

    Kind of sad to think that some 4 years later, things really haven’t improved.

  2. sophia Fox
    sophia Fox February 7, 2014 at 6:55 am |

    About one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol are repeat offenders. . Ignition interlocks are a great products that is available not only to offenders but to the public. The purpose of the device is to control and monitor vehicles driven by convicted DUI offenders, thus enhancing public safety.

  3. Attorney Guss
    Attorney Guss February 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm |

    First and foremost this is an utter tragedy. Second, you hit the nail on the head when you referred to ‘tendency to overlook each others’ weaknesses’. There is no single solution to this kind of behavior but education – by that i specifically mean parenting and peers – has to be at its core. Telling kids and teenagers not do do something is a distant second to setting a great example.

  4. Nadig Law
    Nadig Law December 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm |

    This is so tragic. I can’t help but feel bad for Josh Brent along with all the loved ones of Jerry Brown. These two were best friends throughout college. You know Mr. Brent has to be feeling so bad about this entire situation, and he will face the punishment of his crimes. Prayers and thoughts go out to everyone impacted by this tragic accident.


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