If only Eugene Robinson, the former Atlanta Falcons safety, had spoken to the Denver Broncos instead of the Carolina Panthers, safety Ryan Murphy might not have been sent home for getting caught up, but not ultimately arrested, in a prostitution bust.
On Tuesday, Robinson warned the Panthers not to make the same mistake he did in 1999 the night before the Super Bowl, when he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute in Miami while his wife and children stayed at a hotel in Miami. The day of his arrest, Robinson received the Bart Starr award for showing outstanding character and leadership on and off the field. Robinson was reportedly one of several Atlanta Falcons who were trysting with prostitutes; one Falcons player said after the arrest, ”Guys had been going there all week. It’s just that Eugene was the only one who got caught.”
The next day, Robinson was beaten on an 80-yard touchdown pass from John Elway to Denver receiver Rod Smith, putting Denver two touchdowns ahead. He also missed a tackle on a long run.
But on Tuesday, Robinson warned the Panthers. He admitted:
I cried all night. Dude, I cried all night. shared my story with different church groups. It was painful. I cried the entire night. How did I get way over here when I was way over here? It’s easy to lose your way when you are selfish and thinking about yourself, and that’s the only thing you are thinking about. And that’s what I did. To hear the word solicitation is still painful for me. I’ve got to call it what it is. I don’t try to sugarcoat it.
Robinson added, ”It was just to tell these guys, don’t mess this up … I can be a living example — don’t mess this up.” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the players gave Robinson a standing ovation.
Meanwhile, on the same day, Murphy was sent home after he was nabbed in a prostitution sting. San Jose police stated that Murphy, his brother, and a suspected prostitute were queried by police after they were found in an area known for sex trafficking. Although Murphy was not cited, his brother and the prostitute were,
Tuesday night Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak stated, “Although practice squad safety Ryan Murphy was not cited by police, we decided it was best for the team if we continued our preparations for Super Bowl 50 without him. Ryan is returning to Denver but his status as a practice squad player has not changed at this time.”
The Panthers players have already instituted a midnight curfew.
Robinson concluded, “If a team beats you, that’s different. But if you beat yourself, that’s criminal. I allowed myself to beat myself and to beat the team, and that was criminal.”