Normally, when we write about an athlete being arrested, our tone is some combination of mocking him for his stupidity, and taking him to task for his incredibly poor judgment. Sometimes it can even be a bit rote, a sports police blotter version of a Mad Lib. But don’t expect that in this story about Oklahoma All-American TE Jermaine Gresham’s arrest on Monday night.
Why? Because as the TULSA WORLD reports, Gresham wasn’t hauled in on a DUI charge. No guns were involved, and there are no girlfriends sporting black eyes or bar patrons missing teeth. That’s because Gresham’s crime was failing to appear in court over a ticket for not wearing a seat belt. And that’s it.
To briefly address this part of the story: Gresham was being an idiot for not wearing a seat belt. Seriously, who doesn’t wear a seat belt anymore? The last time I remember not wearing a seat belt in a car, there were nine people jammed into the back of a Mazda hatchback to go see a concert on the Sunset Strip. (Interesting side note: wedged directly above me in the trunk? My future wife.)
But really … jail? While it’s good - and frankly a little surprising - that the Norman police aren’t giving Oklahoma football stars a free pass, it seems like hauling him into jail for an incredibly minor offense if overkill to the nth degree. Shouldn’t a ticket for not wearing a seat belt be something that you don’t need to come to court for - like a parking ticket or moving violation, shouldn’t you just be able to pay the fine by mail and be done with it?
Honestly, if he was going to get arrested anyway, Gresham should have got his proverbial money’s worth out of it, and ramped up the degree of difficulty a bit by not wearing a seat belt while doing something crazy, like having improperly tinted windows. Then again, if the Norman cops found him doing that, it might have been straight to the SuperMax federal prison for him.