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NFLPA develops app to help players get rides home

NFL Players Association Press Conference

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 02: NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith speaks during a press conference held by the NFL Players Association at the Super Bowl XLVI Media Center in the J.W. Marriott Indianapolis on February 2, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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With the NFL and the NFLPA trying to solve the problem of players driving drunk, the union has come up with a way to make it easier for players who have been drinking to get a ride home quickly and safety.

According to Ken Belson of the New York Times, the NFLPA has launched a partnership with Uber. The company makes an app that allows smartphone users to easily arrange for a cab or a car service.

With the app tied to the phone’s internal GPS technology, the player doesn’t have to provide an address when calling for a ride.

“This generation is more tied to having a mobile device,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told Belson. “If we can move to a world where we are using the phenomenon to increase the safety of our players, then the partnership with Uber is a no-brainer.”

The partnership will officially be announced later today in a conference call featuring Smith and Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick.

Players will receive a $200 credit as an inducement to use the service, which as the grant of $200 in credits implies won’t be free. But that shouldn’t matter; the players can afford to pay for a ride home. No matter what it costs, it’ll have less total cost to the player than a DUI.

There’s still no guarantee players will use it, for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, the impairment to brain function resulting from alcohol consumption tends to result in all sorts of bad decisions being made.

That’s why the better approach, for players and non-players, will be to drink more than one or two alcoholic beverages only under circumstances where firm plans for getting home already have been made -- or when the player already is home, with no plans to leave.