Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon appeared in a press conference with his general manager Gene Smith and head coach Mike Mularkey on Wednesday in which he apologized to the Jaguars organization for his poor judgement over the weekend.
Perhaps the most telling thing Blackmon said during the press conference was that he is done drinking alcohol “for now.”
The press conference was the first time that Blackmon has spoke publicly since being arrested early Sunday morning for aggravated DUI in Stillwater, Okla.
Blackmon was not allowed to say much because his case is ongoing and anything he says could be used against him in court. He did, however, say that he does not have an alcohol problem and that the DUI incident was a case of bad judgement.
When Blackmon was pulled over, he blew a near toxic blood-alcohol level of 0.24 on his breathalyzer test and later had a blood-alcohol level of 0.26 on his second test. The increase from the first test to the second test is an indication that Blackmon was still drinking up until the point he got behind the wheel.
Both Smith and Mularkey expressed their disappointment in the incident and their top draft pick. They also expressed that any sort of discipline would be handed down from the league.
The Jaguars wanted to get the press conference done this week in an effort to put the story behind them before next week’s mandatory minicamp. Even though Blackmon spoke on Wednesday, the story is far from being over.
Blackmon pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Monday and is scheduled to be in court for a hearing on July 24. Tom Lee, the district attorney in Payne County, Okla., has said that if Blackmon does not plead guilty to his misdemeanor charge for aggravated DUI he will take the case to trial.
While the Jaguars cannot punish Blackmon under the collective bargaining agreement, they will be able to put clauses in his rookie contract that will protect them if he has another incident like this. Blackmon will also be subject to punishment by the NFL which could include a suspension for violation the league’s personal conduct policy.
Ultimately as expected Blackmon said all of the right things on Wednesday, but it will be his actions both on and off of the field that will tell if he truly gets it.