Wednesday, July 7, 2010

No second chances for Lewand

Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) after attending a charity golf outing. In America today there is just no reason that should have happen, especially to someone with the resources that Lewand has at his disposal.

Lewand has issued a statement where he apologies for his action and accepts full responsibility. Team owner, William Clay Ford, has issued a statement that supports Lewand as an important asset to the team. The Lions head coach says that one of the reasons he came to the team was because of the outstanding job that Lewand is doing for the Lion’s organizations. Unless there are things publicly stated that didn’t get press coverage, the statements made where of full open support with no conditions attached. As of Monday, June 28, 2010 there is no mention of the incident on the team web site.

There are much less people driving while drunk in America then there was a generation ago. All of this thanks to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the organization that works hard to change the laws and behavior of Americans. (It should be disclosed here that drunk drivers have taken two members of my extended family. I have no sympathy for those that drive while impaired.) Culturally, it has changed from being something we laugh at to something that we view with disgrace.

But, we have a ways to go yet.

One thing that we can do to continue the fight, especially with high profile cases like Lewand’s is to openly illustrate the negative outcome of his actions. It is certain that there will be conversations between the owners and Lewand on this situation. Hopefully, as a result of those conversations, disciplinary action will be taken. This action should be made public. This will make it clear that driving while drunk or any other similar action does come with a down side.

Additionally, any support from family, friends and professional colleagues should come with conditions. It is good that those around Lewand came to his support. He will need it to take responsibility for his actions, not just publicly as he has, but also personally to learn how to prevent himself from making the bad decision to drive in the condition he was in. But, that support should come with conditions. Also, no support like he is currently receiving should ever come with a second chance. The support should come from this one chance and there should be no other chance. Period.