Hold Up, The NFL Has Had A Free Car Service To Avoid The Henry Ruggs Situation For A Decade

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 3: Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III makes an initial appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court on November 3, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ruggs is facing charges relating to a fiery vehicle crash early Tuesday in Las Vegas that left a woman dead and Ruggs and his female passenger injured. The photo is taken through a glass window. (Photo by Steve Marcus-Pool/Getty Images)

Usually we do some pretty light stuff here… it is fvcking TOTAL FRAT MOVE, after all… but the last two days have been pretty dominated by the tragic Henry Ruggs news.

If you missed it (which you couldn’t have), Ruggs caused a car accident that killed a woman. He was driving 156mph just before the wreck, breaking down to 127mph right before impact. He was also tested at a .161 BAC, more than twice the legal limit in Nevada.

I, like everyone I know, has said form of “dude, why didn’t you call an Uber…”

Well… I just learned that The Player Transportation Link (PTL, as described by the NY Times) or some variation of this program has been around since 2011, and provides a sober ride car service to any current or former NFL player. They also have had a partnership with Lyft since 2017.

“This generation is more tied to having a mobile device,” DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the players association, said at the time. “If we can move to a world where we are using the phenomenon to increase the safety of our players.”

More than that — because I have seen people try to defend Ruggs (or other players) about not wanting to take a Uber and ride in some random dude’s Toyota Carolla — the PTL is putting you in a fvcking black limo sedan… for which the NFL Players Association fvcking pays for. And, if you don’t like a limo and want to choose another vehicle, including Escalades or Hummers, stretch limos or a party bus. Players can pay the additional cost with a credit card.

How does this all work?

Oh… the player calls either uses the app like every other human or they can call a 1-800 number on the back of their NFL player I.D. card (which is 100% not happening, since no one is carrying that around). From there, the NFLPA picks up a tab for a ride that chauffeured you to go … wherever…

It also specifically offers “emergency response” for the times that a player needs a ride or … oh, say has drunk too much, he can call the number.

Fvck me, Henry Ruggs.

As stated above, the league updated its initial offering in 2017 with a partnership with Lyft.

Its release at the time read: Lyft will be providing ride credits to rookies invited to the annual NFLPA Debut event on Wednesday, April 26. Additionally, all active players will be eligible to receive $250 in ride credits, as well as the ability to earn additional credits through an ongoing social influencer promotion. Players will be able to redeem Lyft credits in 30 of 32 NFL cities.

“It is an honor to partner with the NFLPA and support the player community,” David Baga, Chief Business Officer at Lyft, said at the time. “We’re thrilled to provide safe, reliable transportation for the players and the people they care about.”

Ruggs’ accident marks the fourth active NFL player in the last 25 years to be involved in a drunk-driving incident resulting in death.

In 2009, receiver Donte Stallworth pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter after he struck and killed a construction worker. Stallworth had a blood-alcohol level of .126, but served just 24 days of a 30-day sentence. 24 fvcking days…. seriously?

Leonard Little pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in June 1998 after he hit and killed a woman while driving with a .19, nearly twice the legal limit of .10 at that time. Little was given no jail time… just four years of probation; was ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service, and sentenced to 90 days in a city workhouse. 

Most recently, Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2014. Brent was driving home from a night of partying in December 2012 — with a .18, more than twice Texas’ legal limit of .08 — when he lost control of his car and crashed, killing his teammate, Jerry Brown. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation.

For fvck sake… just get an Uber.

Written by Malcolm Henry

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