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What Exactly is Von Miller Apologizing For?

He says he's sorry. But what's he sorry for?

He says he’s sorry. But what’s he sorry for?

On Monday it was announced that Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller had been slapped with a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Not a four-game suspension, which is standard for first-time offenders. Not a full season suspension, which is standard for second-time offenders.

A six-game suspension, which is not standard. According to league policy, a six-game ban is reserved for players who fail to complete the first phase of an intervention program and had two subsequent violations while in the second phase.

Of course all we can do is speculate because, while player violations and suspensions are always made public, the details of the specific violations are not. Which is why players never test positive for PEDs, but the NFL does seem to have a wide-spread Adderall problem on their hands.

Athletes can basically make up whatever story they want. Prescription drugs don’t have the same stigma and are far more palatable to the general public—probably since much of the general public is secretly hooked on prescription drugs. So that’s the route players have gone in recent years.

The explanations may be fictional, but at least details are offered up, which provides some form of closure. Miller didn’t even bother concocting an elaborate cover story, instead opting for positively Ryan Braun-esque vagaries. Said Miller:

“I made mistakes and my suspension has hurt my team, Broncos fans, and myself. I am especially sorry for the effect of my bad decisions on others. I will not make the same mistakes about adhering to the policy in the future.”

Well isn’t he polite! When a mistake is made, saying you’re sorry is the polite thing to do. Unfortunately, being courteous doesn’t mean this apology sucks any less.

So he’s sorry…for mistakes…and bad decisions. So what?

A month ago Miller was adamantly standing by his claims of innocence. Today he’s sorry for…things…and unlikely to appeal his suspension. Is he no longer claiming to be innocent or is he apologizing for other things?

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported an additional two games may have been tacked onto his suspension because Miller provided a suspiciously diluted urine sample after the first one was spilled. Is he apologizing for spilling and/or diluting urine?

Earlier this summer Miller was arrested for failing to appear in court for traffic violations, but has insisted he’s “done nothing wrong.” Is he apologizing for getting arrested or failing to appear in court or the initial violations, which required him to go to court in the first place?

On Monday it was reported that Miller’s name was listed among potential witnesses for an upcoming murder trial in Denver. A Broncos spokesman was quick to clarify that Miller has “no direct involvement in the case,” because uninvolved people are always called to testify in death penalty cases of someone accused of killing five people.

Is he apologizing for having social connections to a serial murderer? Is he apologizing for having had the misfortune of witnessing a crime, thereby dragging him into this mess? Or is he apologizing for a terrible DA who likes to waste time in murder trials by calling witnesses of no consequence?

Maybe he’s apologizing for all of it. Maybe for none of it.

One thing that is clear is this kid sure has an awful lot to apologize for these days. Apparently the Broncos were “fuming” over Miller’s suspension, but maybe they should be fuming over Miller’s behavior.

With all the smoke he’s been generating, a fire can’t be far behind.

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