It is becoming evident the Pittsburgh Steelers are not used to being left to their own laurels this early. The off-season came early as the team won only one of their last four games, falling short of post-season qualifications.
Chris Rainey proved the extra personal time leaves too much room for personal issues to take over one's personal life. Rainey was arrested Thursday morning in Gainesville, Fl, charged with a misdemeanor count of simple battery after a domestic dispute between his girlfriend and himself.
Domestic violence is never appropriate in any situation. Rainey's incident stems from an argument over possession of Rainey's personal cell phone.
According to police reports, witnesses called 911 citing an argument between Rainey and his girlfriend, which escalated when girlfriend attempted to flee from Rainey as a passenger in his roommate's car - with Rainey's phone. Apparently, Rainey opened the door, removed the girlfriend from the vehicle and slapped her in the face. The struggle caused both to fall to the ground.
The Girlfriend then proceeded to flee on foot. Rainey quickly chased her down, reaching out and grabbing hold of her purse strap, again causing them both to end up on the ground. Police responded to the 911 call, and placed Rainey in custody, where he remains until appearing in court.
Neither Rainey, nor his girlfriend reported any injuries as a result of the incident; however the situation is sure to damage Rainey's professional life. The Steelers have already had to deal with players involved in illegal, extracurricular activities after Alameda Ta'amu had an intoxicated run in with police during the 2012 season. Ta'amu was suspended by the team and then released upon his reinstatement. Pittsburgh did re-sign Ta'amu to their practice squad, and he made the final roster in the final week of the regular season, securing his spot in training camp the following season.
While Rainey awaits the judgment of the court, he can also assume to face some sort of consequence from the Steelers. The severity of that punishment will surely depend on the outcome of Rainey's court appearance, and any further details which may expose themselves in the ensuing investigation.
In an off-season set to be full of changes with roster and coaching decisions to be made, Rainey's actions could end up making short work of a promising career. He certainly won't endear himself to the Pittsburgh Steelers by creating more negative publicity for them.