FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Falcons safety Lawyer Milloy was arrested on DUI and speeding charges in suburban Atlanta early Monday, just hours after Atlanta lost to Tampa Bay.
At his Monday news conference, Atlanta coach Mike Smith would not offer details on any potential discipline Milloy could face.
“Any time any of our players are in this type of situation, we are extremely disappointed, myself and our organization,” Smith said. “It’s something that is completely unacceptable.”
Gwinnett County police charged the 34-year-old Milloy with driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding. Milloy, who lives in nearby Buford, was booked into the suburban Atlanta jail at 4:35 a.m. and posted a bond of more than US$1,600 about five hours later.
Though Milloy spoke with Smith before the team meeting on Monday afternoon, Milloy was not present in the locker room when reporters were allowed in from 12:35-1:20 p.m.
He issued a one-sentence statement through lawyer Manubir Arora of Atlanta.
“I apologize to my family, my teammates, (Falcons owner) Mr. (Arthur) Blank, coach Smith, (general manager) Thomas Dimitroff and our great fans for the incident that occurred following Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay,” Milloy said.
Milloy, with 192 starts in his 198 career games, has been considered a team leader since signing a three-year contract worth US$6 million in March 2006. A four-time Pro Bowl selection, he helped New England win its first Super Bowl in February 2002.
Under the league’s substance abuse policy and program, a DUI conviction could result in Milloy getting tested, evaluated and treated for alcoholism. Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Falcons also could impose fines, but Smith gave no details.
“I’ve had a conversation with Lawyer this morning, a very lengthy conversation,” Smith said. “It was something that I’d like to keep private between he and I. What I can tell you is that this matter will be handled internally. The league and the (NFL Players Association) sets certain standards on things you can and cannot do.”
Smith seemed irritated with reporters when asked about the team’s plans for handling Milloy’s predicament.
“When I say internally, I mean it’s going to be handled internally,” Smith said. “We’re going to work through this. We’ve got to let the process run its course. It’s a legal matter.”
Centre Todd McClure, a Falcon since 1999, indicated that Milloy, who led Atlanta with seven solo tackles in the 24-9 loss at Tampa Bay, remains a respected teammate and leader in the locker room.
“Lawyer’s a great guy, and we’re going to support him through this,” McClure said. “He just made a mistake.”
Article from the Canadian Press