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Most Ram Fans Think Henley Signing Sends Wrong Message

August 06, 1994

In Friday's Times Orange County, readers were asked the following: Should the Rams have signed cornerback Darryl Henley to play football while he is awaiting trial on cocaine distribution and possession charges?

Despite the fact that Henley has yet to be convicted of anything, respondents by phone and fax came down overwhelmingly against the Rams' decision:

The Henley situation is yet another instance of the privileged--the wealthy, the influential or the "talented"--flaunting the system and running unfettered over the population.

But the gut issue here, the main concern, the main disservice to the people is the impact on the youth in Southern California. Just look at the message--"It's OK to deal drugs as long as you are an athlete!" What are young persons expected to think?

RONALD VON FREYMANN

Huntington Beach

*

The staple of our society is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Instead, we are a society of judgmental jerks. Darryl Henley has every right to work and earn a living just like everybody else in our society until he has his day in court and they find him guilty. That has not happened and until it does, of course the Rams should have signed him. Anybody that thinks any different doesn't really understand what our society is about.

BRIAN AUXIER

Fullerton

*

No accused drug dealer should be allowed to play any professional sport.

I resent the fact that Henley lived in the lovely town of Brea and (allegedly) tainted it by pushing drugs around the country.

MARY SHARP

Brea

*

Going to trial in January shouldn't faze Darryl Henley. Playing before Ram fans, he's used to juries.

If Henley is injured, the Rams can use the Menendez boys. They can be contacted through their agent, Charles Manson.

STAN KAPLAN

Garden Grove

*

We all know that suspects are to be considered innocent until proven guilty, but athletes are public figures and often considered to be role models for our youth. It is a travesty if the Rams have to draw from players under indictment for drug trafficking.

It is sad that it becomes so obvious that all the members of the NFL care about is winning and the money involved. I would hope that Henley will donate his salary this year to drug rehab programs, but I would bet his attorneys will get it instead.

ANITA J. ZIEBE

Newport Beach

*

There is no way the Rams need a drug dealer to play football for them. They're bad enough as it is.

BOB LEIBE

La Palma

*

Even though he hasn't been convicted of anything, I think this sends a really bad message to society. We are supposed to be saying no to drugs and this sends a very bad message in general. What about the other defendants--do they have the same luxury?

ROBERT PIMENTEL

Newport Beach

*

I've seen almost all of the Rams' home games for the past 32 years and I am terribly disappointed that the Rams re-signed this guy. Anyone who would cause the kind of damage to my grandkids, that creates this type of poison to our youth, doesn't deserve such a position.

WALT WAGNER

Newport Beach

*

I think that users have a special consideration because most of us who work in this field believe that rehabilitation is the way to go as far as treatment especially for athletes and public figures. However, distribution and possession is a whole different type and category and I don't think the Rams made a wise decision in this particular case of bringing him back. I am not trying to make him guilty before he is actually proven, but these are particularly serious charges.

DR. VAUGHN MICKLOS

Buena Park

*

I believe that the Rams signing Henley is a despicable act and counter to what any good judgment should have led to. He is an indicted drug dealer and as such should not be held up to be a model or given athletic standing in the community. If the Rams have Henley on their roster at the beginning of the official season I will not go to any games or watch them on TV and will pray they find a way to leave Orange County for a community that will accept a drug dealer as one of its sports figures.

DOUGLAS BOECKLER

Irvine

*

The Rams handling in the Henley matter is incomprehensible. How anyone that is under indictment should be allowed in professional sports is beyond my belief. It just goes to show the owners' insensitivity to the public.

DAVID SCULLY

Dana Point

*

It is just great! He is a great defensive back. He helped the Rams out and after his absence, the Rams seemed to fail in their secondary. After all, I am kind of outraged by all the people who called in and were upset, and canceled season tickets--I think they jumped to conclusions, because this is America and a person is innocent until proven guilty and there is no reason why he shouldn't be able to play.

BOBBY BLY

Norco

*

I think it is a gross indication of the caliber of the people who are managing pro sports, the NFL and particularly the Rams to have a man who is charged with distribution of cocaine playing on their team under a salary without any conditions whatsoever. This is getting down to the nitty-gritty. Where are we going to draw the line? This man has no business playing for the Rams until he is cleared. I have been disappointed in the Rams for a long time, but this is just more fuel on the fire.

LEWIS GOLDENSON

Huntington Beach

Compiled by Nettie Mackley.

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