Originally published April 3rd, 2012
I’ve had a few people drop me notes after this morning’s news that Ryan Leaf had been arrested again today for burglary and possession of narcotics. My gut reaction is utter disappointment. I’m sick to my stomach about it, but it doesn’t change the message from Friday’s post. I do think it’s important to clarify one thing: Don’t confuse compassion with excusing Ryan’s behavior. I never said that Ryan shouldn’t be held accountable for his actions. He’s violated the terms of his suspended sentence. I guarantee there will be consequences for him. But the entire point of the post was the way he was being treated out of it. What he did was absolutely wrong, but it’s how we deal with it that I was talking about.
There is another part to that though, and that’s how Ryan needs to deal with it, and how he should have dealt with it on Friday. I appreciated Ryan’s urgency in owning up to the mistake on Friday. I know he acknowledged the issue publically and that he was “dealing with it”. I dropped him a DM that he responded to Friday. I felt like he was taking the high road out of a poor situation (that he created). Then today happened. I don’t understand why Ryan didn’t seek immediate treatment after his arrest. Was Ryan advised or urged to go into immediate counseling? If not, he should have been. The biggest thing that troubles me about today’s arrest is the desperation. These are actions of someone that needs immediate help. I’m also disappointed in Ryan’s apparent lack of honesty. If the police had been monitoring Ryan for over a month, then that means he was obtaining/using while he was out there telling everyone how great he was doing. (I’m even reading reports that this has been going on for over a year.) Ryan Leaf’s denial, and his actions over the last 4 days, are a clear indicator that he isn’t in control. I don’t know how much more clear that can be.
I’ve gone back and listened to Brock and Salk’s podcast from this morning (you can find it on the podcast link thru http://www.mynw.com). Brock Huard said his first feeling when he heard about the arrest was accountability and consequence, Mike Salk agreed with Brock while stating that there was still “room for compassion.” I agree with both statements completely. I hope that Ryan finds the immediate help and support he needs, but it’s going to be up to him to show he can come back from this. It’s sad to see anyone that seemingly found their way back, fall from grace. It just so happens that Ryan’s fall is out where everyone can see it.