New Orleans Saints’ linebacker Junior Galette was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault of a woman Monday morning. According to police responding to the scene, the alleged victim had visible injuries including scratches on her face and bleeding from her ear caused by a ripped out earring. The woman in question accuses Galette and his cousin, Terrance Banks Jr., of throwing her out his house by force when they refused to give her money for a cab. Kenner, Louisiana police also say Galette was disruptive at the scene while being arrested; he is out on bond.
Galette made the New Orleans Saints roster as an undrafted free agent in 2010. Over the past couple of seasons, he has become a standout player for the Saints, including a 10 sack season in 2014; he was also named a team captain. Galette signed a four-year, $41.5 million contract extension last September. Galette is the first guinea pig for the NFL’s new personal conduct policy. His arrest comes as the NFL struggles to rebuild in the aftermath of the maelstrom of domestic assault cases including Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson.
Under the new conduct policy, Galette is subject to a potential six-game suspension without a conviction after the NFL conducts its own independent investigation. The Saints have to decide whether or not to cut Galette instead of taking the coming hurricane of bad PR. Many people who criticized the NFL’s handling of assault cases last summer will be watching this situation to see if past mistakes have been rectified. Junior Galette fought hard to make his place in the league but the recent months have shown no amount of productivity can provide shelter for bad judgment.