The National Felon League? a comparison of NFL arrests to general population arrests

Wanda Leal, Marc Gertz, Alex R. Piquero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: In the past few years, media attention to crime and violence committed by NFL players has increased. This paper compares NFL arrest rates to U.S. general population arrest rates from 2000 to 2013. Methods: The current study uses online databases that contain information of NFL player arrests and UCR arrest data to calculate rates of arrest for violent crimes, property crimes, and public order crimes, for both the NFL and general population. Two-sample test of proportions are used to assess differences between the arrest rates for NFL players and the general population. Results: Findings indicate that the general population has higher rates of arrests than the NFL population for property crimes and public order crimes, but NFL arrest rates for violent crimes are higher than for the general population in six of the fourteen yearly comparisons. Conclusion: This study provides data on crime in the NFL. It offers some but not strong or consistent support to those that are concerned about violence among NFL players, but it does not support the claim that NFL players are more criminal than the general population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-403
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

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