In a movie, perhaps watching some drunken former jock crash into a cop car would be considered funny. However, that is exactly what happened with Denver’s Director of Player Personnel, Matt Russell, and the Broncos organization is not laughing.
According to CBS4 in Denver, Russell was arrested not once, but twice for driving under the influence – and in two different cities. First, he was arrested in Frisco, Colo.; after his release, he was arrested in Breckenridge on the same charges as before. The second time he was caught, however, he crashed his car into a fully marked police car.
The former All-American linebacker at Colorado was released on $1,000 bond on July 7, but his troubles are far from over. On Monday, the Broncos released a statement regarding Russell’s actions, and it was far more pointed than what is generally expected when executives get into trouble.
“Our organization is extremely disappointed and concerned with the incident involving Matt Russell,” the Broncos said in a statement released by the organization. “We immediately expressed our disappointment to Matt, and he is fully aware of the seriousness of this situation. This type of behavior is unacceptable and very troubling. We expect better from all employees, particularly those in leadership positions. These allegations completely contradict the values and beliefs of the Broncos regarding social responsibility.
“We are continuing to gather information and will handle this matter appropriately and in accordance with all NFL policies.”
The team went a step further and a released a second statement, this one on behalf of Russell.
“I deeply regret the poor judgment I demonstrated that resulted in my arrest over the weekend,” Russell said. “I apologize to the Denver Broncos, our fans and the National Football League for this inexcusable mistake. I’m ashamed that I represented this region and the Broncos organization in the manner that I did. I take complete responsibility for my actions and will be fully accountable. Going forward, I will take steps to ensure this never happens again.”
No sentencing has been made in Russell’s case, so technically he is innocent until proven guilty. However, as Pro Football Talk points out, the candor of both statements seem to lead us to believe the case is overwhelmingly against Russell.
What’s more is the fact that Russell was being groomed to potentially take over for the one and only John Elway as the team’s lead decision-maker some day.
Russell will be subject to league discipline, but the Broncos may no longer feel like they would like to be connected to Russell after his actions over the weekend.