Enterprise Journalism Release – June 24, 2010
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Purple Drank: Unknown Drug of Choice
Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN2)
Substance abuse is a constant issue in sports, but the use of one drug, “Purple Drank,” has remained relatively unknown. The concoction consists of prescription cough syrup, Sprite and Jolly Ranchers and is becoming a favorite of pro athletes. Outside the Lines examines the use of the drug-laced drink and the social and cultural phenomenon associated with it. Mark Fainaru-Wada’s report focuses on Houston’s 5th Ward, an embattled, crime-ridden neighborhood where Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly’s car was pulled over in July 2008. Police found a soft drink bottle and a Styrofoam cup filled with liquid and ice in the center console, reported a strong smell of codeine coming from the cup, and arrested Jolly, charging him with possession of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony.
“It’s considered by a lot of people as being normal. If you see somebody smoking crack, ‘What’s wrong with this guy?’ If you see someone with a cup of bar, with a cup of lean, that’s a player doing his thing.” — Dr. Ron Peters, associate professor at the University of Texas
Kermit’s Song: Former NFL Player Loses, Gains Family
Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m., ESPN2)
SportsCenter (Sunday, 10 a.m., ESPN2; 11 p.m., ESPN)
When former 49ers and Rams defensive back Kermit Alexander was at the end of his career in the 1970s, he coached and mentored Pop Warner football players in the Watts section of Los Angeles. But he never made time for one player who had a horrific temper. A decade later, that same player — in a random gang-related act — murdered Alexander’s mother and three family members. Racked with guilt, Alexander spent much of the next 20 years drifting. But after visiting Haiti in 2004, he met another young child that changed his life. It was Alexander’s second chance to help a youngster, and he and his wife, Tami, began a six-year odyssey to adopt this emaciated Haitian orphan and his four brothers and sisters. The odyssey came to a gratifying conclusion following January’s tragic 7.0 earthquake in Port au Prince. Tom Friend reports.
“I intended to kill every one of their gang members, every one of them, or die in the process. I used every contact I could get — some I threatened, some I begged, some I paid for — but I couldn’t track them down.” – Kermit Alexander, on his initial thoughts of avenging the deaths of his mother, sister and two nephews
“I noticed a little boy peeking around the corner of the walled building at the kids playing soccer. I just said, ‘Clifton!’ And he took two steps, turned around, and jumped into my arms. And that was the point in time when I completely let go. I was OK. I had healed.” – Kermit Alexander, on meeting the first of five Haitian brothers and sisters he and his wife would adopt
To read the ESPN.Com story in its entirety: