Austin Seferian-Jenkins knew the road Dylan Donahue was heading down.
Not the wrong lane of the Lincoln Tunnel specifically, but the greater issue he was dealing with.
The Jaguars tight end and former Jet has tried to help Donahue, after the Jets linebacker checked himself into rehab following a wrong-way crash into a bus.
The most important thing I want to resonate with him is truly finding what’s the underlying issue. Because it’s not necessarily just alcohol. Can he find it? Can he tame it? Nobody’s perfect. It’s not an easy road by any means. But I wanted to make sure that he finds that happiness without a substance. I just really was worried about him. First of all, I just wanted to make sure that he was good as a person and can find himself. Because he’s a really cool dude. He’s a special guy.
Donahue actually had another drunk driving arrest before the tunnel incident, but the Jets stood by the 2017 fifth-rounder, who played in just four games last year before an elbow injury ended his season.
Seferian-Jenkins stood by him too, and that support may make a huge difference.
As noted on Thursday by LawAndCrime.com, attorney Mark Geragos suggested in a Thursday tweet that efforts of the top two members of the executive branch to pressure the NFL to force players to stand for the anthem potentially run afoul of Title 18, Section 227 of the United States Code. A violation of 18 U.S.C. 227 arises if the President and/or the Vice President intended to influence, solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation, an employment decision or employment practice of any private entity and influence[d], or offers or threatens to influence, the official act of another.
A clear example of a prohibited action under 18 U.S.C. 227 would arise if, for example, the President pressures a news outlet to fire a reporter who asks too many tough questions, under threat of revoking access. While more murky as it relates to the NFL, it seems fairly clear that the President and/or the Vice President have pressured (successfully) the NFL to remove the pre-existing right of its players to protest during the national anthem.
It feels too simple to be applicable, but the language is as plain as it can be. And the punishment feels too harsh, with imprisonment of up to 15 years and potential disqualification from holding office.