Dec 15, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith (99) gets ready to rush against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers: Does The Organization Have A Character Problem?


Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive back Chris Culliver (29) reacts after he cannot make a catch against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since Jim Harbaugh has taken over as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, the team has preached two things: blue collar work ethic, and good character. But with a couple of 49ers’ players having legal problems lately, are those two things just a farce?

Since Harbaugh has become the coach, the 49ers have had nine run-ins with the law (granted, Aldon Smith has four of them). The 49ers had the same number of run-ins with the law from 2001-10. So why the recent spike in arrests/charges?

Like I mentioned before, almost half of the recent arrests and charges are from Aldon Smith. Smith has his own demons, and you cannot blame the entire team for his mistakes. The rest are single incidents by different players over the course of three years.

Each NFL team has their problems. They are filled with grown men who make their own decisions. To suggest that one organization has a character problem because of a few players that made bad choices is absurd.

From 2011-13 the NFL experienced 152 arrests. In that time frame, the 49ers accounted for just six of those. That is just 4 percent.

Are the recent arrests still alarming? Of course they are. The 49ers and every other team in the NFL would prefer to have no arrests, but the fact is, when you have as many players as the NFL has, there are going to be run-ins with the law. The 49ers are no exception to this rule.

Many players who have played under Harbaugh have lauded him and the culture he brings into the locker room. When the bullying scandal in Miami first broke, San Francisco was one of the few places that were suggested for Jonathan Martin to head to. And sure enough, he is now on the team.

The 49ers are filled with good character guys who represent the franchise well. Players like Patrick Willis, Frank Gore, and Anquan Boldin are all guys who set the organization in good light.

While the media and other fans focus on the negative aspects of the NFL including the 49ers, just remember for every negative story you hear, there are multiple positive ones that you don’t hear because they just aren’t exciting stories.

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  • rob1863

    OK, so the 49ers accounted for just 6 of 152 arrests, or 4%. Guess what? There are 32 NFL teams and the 49ers being one of them would represent 3% of the NFL. So, does the organization have a character problem?