Rod Coleman – “Incidents and Allegations”
First off, a hearty “welcome back” to metroblogger Kendall! Sorry to hear that you’re no longer a Highlands resident, Kendall, but I’m pretty sure they’ll still let you into their establishments. Heck, I live in Smyrna/Vinings, and they (usually) let me in. :)
As for the story our beloved Kendall mentioned in a previous post, about Falcons DT Rod Coleman’s auto accident, I have to say I’m on the side of the inquisitive press where this issue’s concerned.
Sure, AJC reporter Matt Winklejohn grilled head coach Jim Mora about the incident. But as more information came out, it became obvious why the Falcons were unhappy to talk about the situation.
Apparently, there’s evidence that Coleman had been drinking before his accident (which happened at 4:30am last Saturday). And he didn’t just bump something like he suggested in the press conference, he FLIPPED his Escalade. He then left the scene without calling the police. So Coleman was possibly drunk driving, probably speeding, and definitely left the scene of an accident. If this were you or I, we’d be in jail right now.
Since the police were never involved, however, there was no breathalyzer given. So there’s no proof now that Coleman was drunk (if he actually was). And the Falcons have protected their boy so much since the accident that head coach Jim Mora even paid a visit to the folks whose property Coleman crashed into. Mora was supposedly just trying to piece together what happened, but who knows if he wasn’t also there to thank the residents for not making any noise about the event…and to give them a few free tickets? :)
Sure, some of the suggestions above sound like part of a big conspiracy theory. Coleman could be the innocent victim of a wet patch of road and a sudden deer crossing. Of course, Coleman never said to the press that he was swerving to miss a deer–he said he didn’t know exactly what happened. The deer story came from one of his teammates. Coleman made his case by laughing off most of the questions in the press conference, speaking with the confidence and nonchalance of an untouchable athlete.
None of the questions or answers from this past week rule out the possibility that Rod Coleman was driving drunk. If that’s true, it’s just dumb luck that no one was hurt or killed. As someone who’s lost friends to drunk drivers, that’s not a kind of luck I like to bet on. If this gets swept under the rug (which it will, since no police report was ever filed and only Coleman knows what really happened) it could be a case of another celeb getting off the hook and not having to be accountable for his actions.
So Kendall, do you still support Jim Mora’s argument now? Sure, the members of the press were pressing the issue, but wouldn’t you like to know the truth here? If there are drunk athletes speeding around town in massive SUVs, wouldn’t you like to see them held accountable for their recklessness before someone you know gets hurt?
With all of the furor recently about Rafael Furcal’s second DUI arrest, it makes perfect sense to me that the local press was overly aggressive when investigating a story about another possible drunk-driving athlete. It’s a hot topic at the moment. But just like Furcal–whose time served was postponed until after playoffs–Coleman’s getting the kid gloves treatment by everyone BUT the press. I’m all for them investigating the matter, if the cops won’t.
I just have one question, if anyone can answer it. Why don’t athletes ever take cabs or have drivers? Every month we hear about another athlete wrapping his car around a tree. Heck, if I had the $10 million Coleman signed for last summer, I’d never drive. My chauffeur would be hauling my ass all over town while I played PS2 in the back. I’d become a Madden 2005 master just from the Atlanta rush hour commute…