BOSTON (CBS) — Is there anyone who doesn’t understand that drunk driving is one of the worst crimes you can commit?

I’m pretty sure Michael Floyd of the New England Patriots knows that. As a high school sports star in Minneapolis, he was cited twice for underage drinking. In college, he was suspended from his team and given a year’s probation after he ran a stop sign with a blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit.

And just last week, Floyd was found passed out in his car with the engine running at a stoplight in Scottsdale, with a mind-boggling BAC of .217, almost three times the legal limit. His subsequent signing by the Pats has sparked a lot of public debate over whether or not they should be giving him another chance.

I don’t know Michael Floyd. I do know that he didn’t come from money–he had to work as a custodian at the private Catholic school he attended in order to pay the tuition. And while that doesn’t come close to justifying his irresponsible behavior, you’ve probably heard as much about who he is as you’ve heard discussion of the psychological problems he may well be dealing with–which is to say, you’ve heard very little.

We don’t seem to like to acknowledge mental health issues when they present themselves. Just look at the reaction to college basketball star Grayson Allen’s serial tripping habit, an apparent sign of serious emotional issues, which has only grudgingly earned acknowledgement from his coach.

Even here in the season of goodwill, we seem to want to look away from mental illness, and I can’t understand why.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

Comments (3)
  1. Mental Illness? Alcoholism is not a mental illness. And a diagnosis of a mental illness of an individual should not be made by the media. Very irresponsible use of the language.

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