Late last year, offensive lineman John Moffitt, who’d been traded from Seattle to the Denver Broncos during training camp, hung up his cleats. A decision that struck many as abrupt, Moffitt chose not to return to Denver after the Broncos’ bye week, saying he’d lost his love for professional football and wanted to do other things with his life.
Presumably, those other things didn’t include facing felony drug charges. But that’s exactly what has happened. As the Associated Press reports, Moffitt was arrested early Sunday morning on battery and drug possession charges after an altercation at a Chicago nightclub. The story cites The Chicago Sun-Times, which reports that Moffitt was found with a gram of cocaine, four ecstasy pills and 10 grams of marijuana. Reports indicate Moffitt “became combative” after a man accused the former NFLer of slinging drugs in a club known as The Underground. Moffitt, 27, was released on his own recognizance.
A player turning their back on the “dream” (and money) of professional sports is relatively rare, and the media subsequently pounced on Moffitt back in November, producing a string of related pieces in which the gregarious, bearded hulk was allowed to explain why he did it. Moffitt told the masses he’d been reading the Dalai Lama and Noam Chomsky, that he wasn’t happy playing anymore, and that he no longer wanted to risk his health for profit. With a home in Renton, Moffitt spoke of possibly pursuing a career in broadcasting or doing a podcast, and now runs a website offering a blog, t-shirts and general musings from a man in “pursuit of happiness.” When he stepped away from the game, many applauded Moffitt’s decision as brave and honorable. (At least one local sports columnist took Moffitt’s mid-season retirement from the Broncos, after being shipped to the team from Seattle, as a possible sign of Pete Carroll’s new-agey workplace awesomeness.)
Like it or not, the Moffitt narrative now changes. It’s not necessarily fair, of course - the presumption of innocence and context of the situation are all very important - but that’s the way it works.
Here’s hoping the best for the former Seahawk.
Earlier this morning Moffitt took to Twitter to say he’d made a “dumb mistake,” and was touched by the outpouring of concern.
Dumb mistake on my part but I'm really touched by everyone and there support and love.. — John Moffitt (@Moffitt74) March 17, 2014