While the perception for some sports fans is that National Football League (NFL) players cannot seem to stay out of trouble with the law, an NFL Arrests Database compiled by the San Diego Union-Tribune found an arrest rate of 1 in every 45 NFL players – or 2.2 percent – since 2000, according to a report from CBS station WCCO in Minneapolis, Minnesota that asked the question ‘Are Athletes Arrested More Than Others?’ When compared to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics for 2009 that show the national arrest rate for all arrests to be 1 in 23 – or 4.3 percent – the reality may be that the fans watching NFL games are more likely to get arrested than the players on the field.

Overall, the San Diego Union-Tribune NFL Arrests Database revealed 573 NFL players arrested for crimes more serious than speeding tickets since 2000, WCCO reports, and the arrest rate was formulated by considering that the 32 NFL teams carry a roster of 53 players for a total of 1,696 players. The report from WCCO follows the recent arrest of a Minnesota Vikings player for felony domestic assault, bringing the number of Vikings players arrested since 2000 up to 36 – the most in the NFL – followed by the Cincinnati Bengals with 35 arrests and the Denver Broncos with 32 arrests. A notice on the database website states that the “list cannot be considered comprehensive in part because some incidents may not have been reported and some public records proved to be elusive.”

As reported earlier in the ESR News blog ‘NFL Teams Use Background Checks to Help Draft College Football Players as New Employees,’ NFL franchises deciding which college football players to draft consider “off the field” statistics such as arrest records along with “on the field” statistics such as touchdowns and tackles. Like many employers, NFL teams may run background checks on prospective employees who could end up as future NFL players, and employers in many other industries use pre-employment screening to help them hire new workers. A 2010 survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) revealed that 73 percent of employers polled – nearly three out of four – conducted criminal background checks for all job candidates.

For NFL teams, selecting players in the annual NFL draft is the process used to hire new employees. Like any prudent employer hoping to avoid wasting time and money on unfit workers, they look at the past experience qualifications of prospective employees, and perform background checks to ensure that they are making an informed hiring decision. Whether the employer is a pro football team or a small business, or the job applicant is a future gridiron all-star or a potential C-level executive, background checks help to ensure a safe work environment and help to avoid the costs in time and money of a bad hires.

For more information about background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a nationwide background screening firm accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – at http://www.esrcheck.com/ or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):
Founded in 1997 in the San Francisco, CA area,
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) literally wrote the book on background screening with “The Safe Hiring Manual” by ESR Founder and CEO Lester Rosen. ESR streamlines the screening process and reduces administrative overhead though its proprietary technology solutions.  ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®), a distinction held by less than two percent of all screening firms. This important recognition was achieved by successfully passing a third party audit demonstrating compliance with the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program. By choosing an accredited screening firm like ESR, employers know they have selected an agency that meets the highest industry standards. For more information about ESR, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com

About ESR News:
The Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News blog –
ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at [email protected].