Emotions and sensitivities toward weapons ran high after the senseless shooting in an Aurora, CO movie theater early Friday morning which killed 12 and wounded 58. Yet, just 24 hours after the tragedy, Detroit Lions cornerback Aaron Berry was arrested after he reportedly aimed a handgun at three bystanders.
That was the last straw for the Detroit Lions, who released Berry on Monday, two days after his second arrest of the summer in his off-season home of Harrisburg, PA. He was expected to start this season, his third with the Lions. Training camp for the team's veterans begins Thursday in Allen Park, MI.
Berry was also arrested under suspicion of DUI in June after reportedly hitting two parked cars in his BMW and leaving the scene on foot.
“We have repeatedly stressed to everyone in our organization that there will be appropriate consequences when an expected standard of behavior is not upheld,” Lions president Tom Lewand said in a released statement.
The NFL Central team hasn't won a league championship since 1957, but they're currently leading all NFL teams in off-season arrests. Berry's alleged antics last weekend mark the seventh time a Detroit Lions player has had a run-in with the police since the season ended.
There were seven arrests of current Detroit Lions athletes from 2001-2011. Another seven arrests have occurred just since January.
Sportswriters have been calling for Berry's release since news of his second arrest was shared. Berry was reportedly in his car when he aimed his gun at bystanders in downtown Harrisburg. Police wouldn't say whether the handgun was registered.
"No one in their locker room would be surprised, and the timing would set an appropriate tone for the opening of training camp later this week," wrote ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert. "Otherwise, Berry's continued employment would be a tacit endorsement of his behavior and leave us to wonder what -- if anything -- would compel the Lions to fire a player other than poor performance on the field."
Wrote the Detroit News' Bob Wojnowski, "in sports, as in any business, your worth is partly defined by your expendability. The Lions don't have many good, seasoned cornerbacks and Berry was slated to start, but if his judgment is as bad as he's displayed the past month, he needs a big-time wake-up call."
See more photos of Detroit Lions players who have had run-ins with the law in 2012.