Chicago Bears offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb was reportedly arrested on Sunday evening in Pulaski County, Illinois during a traffic stop and charged with possession of a controlled substance. Police said they cannabis and paraphernalia was found in Webb’s possession. A deputy had apparently stopped the 24-year-old for speeding on Interstate 57.
On Wednesday, though, the Southern Illinoisan newspaper reported that Pulaski County State’s Attorney Grayson Gile decided to dismiss the drug charges. Gile reportedly told the newspaper that the case could reach a “fair and equitable” resolution. Online records reportedly show the alleged traffic-related offenses but not the drug-related charges.
J’Marcus Webb is reportedly entering the final year of his rookie contract, which isn’t the best timing for the incident. It isn’t clear whether the incident will affect anything for Webb.
The NFL, as our Chicago readers may know, is currently going through an organization-wide awareness campaign of DUI, drug, and domestic violence problems among its players. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been working to hold players more accountable and to ensure that NFL policies are more uniformly implemented.
NFL players are, like anybody else, expected to be law-abiding citizens. It is fairly clear, however, that professional athletes are held to a higher standard in the public eye when it comes to abuse of alcohol, drugs and violence in their relationships. This same dynamic is true for public figures and those in positions that make them well-known in the community.
It is very easy to rush to judgment when a public person is accused of a crime, but every defendant, regardless of how high-profile, deserves a strong criminal defense.
Source: chicagobears.com, “Webb arrested and charged with drug possession,” Larry Mayer, February 27, 2013.