In the aftermath of the sexual assault allegations against Green Bay Packers’ cornerback Brandon Underwood several players have voiced their displeasure with the situation, while police say charges will be problematic.
As for Underwood being brought up on charges, Lake Delton’s police chief told the Press Gazette he thinks charges will be problematic because there’s too much contradictory information between the alleged victims and Underwood. In other words, he said, she said.
Of course, the police don’t make the final decision on whether charges will be brought. The district attorney does, but this is certainly some good news for Underwood.
What isn’t good news for Underwood is how his teammates reacted to the situation, which is to say, not kindly.
Some of the players named — six, in addition to Underwood, were interviewed by police and released — were angry their names were reported.
“I am upset that we didn’t do anything and our names get thrown out there,” backup quarterback Matt Flynn told reporters Sunday. “We went and answered as many questions as possible and tried to get it rectified as quickly as possible. There is nothing that I or we did that I am embarrassed about.”
Clay Matthews, who hosted the charity golf tournament after which the alleged incident took place, had well-measured, but somewhat harsher words.
“One person’s misjudgment really put a damper on [the tournament],” he said. “Hopefully this doesn’t put a black eye on the tournament and the foundation, but I think for the most part I think it worked out this year, and next year, just be a little more careful. Hopefully we can learn from this and make correct decisions next time.”
This comes on the heels of several anonymously-quoted Packers who said Underwood has been a problem since he was drafted.
It isn’t exactly how you want your teammates reacting if you’re Underwood, but then, Underwood’s behavior isn’t exactly how you want your teammates to behave if you’re the rest of the Packers, either.
Frankly, Underwood’s behavior shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Underwood transferred to Cincinnati after having his scholarship revoked at Ohio State for missing meetings and academic issues. He hasn’t historically been the picture of responsibility and the Packers knew that when they drafted him.
Whether this latest incident affects the team dynamic remains to be seen, but it’s naive to think all teammates like each other. If no further damage is done and Underwood plays well this season, that’s really all he has to do for this to blow over. That, and grow up a little bit.
All in all, there seems to be a decent chance Underwood will get off Scott Free.
Underwood is also being reviewed by the NFL under the league’s Personal Conduct Policy and it seems unlikely he’ll face a suspension.
For Underwood, the fact that the allegations fall within the realm of he said/shes said makes it difficult for the league to draw any solid conclusions. And if Underwood ultimately isn’t charged, the league likely will take no action against him.
Going forward, however, the situation likely will count as a strike against Underwood in the event he faces future allegations.
If Underwood is able to put this incident behind him without any legal entanglements, it looks like his biggest job will be working on his judgment.