The dramatic circumstances of the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson cases raise the issue of which aspects of an athlete's private life should be subject to public awareness and judgment. The lines between public and private have been blurred with the development of social media and cellphone technology. When an athlete leaves his home, every moment can be captured on a phone or tablet camera providing images and sound.

When Matt Leinart was quarterback for the Cardinals, he was relaxing in his own home in his private time when a jacuzzi photo of him and several woman was captured. That led to mistaken impression. These images can then be uploaded to the Internet and travel across the country.

Clearly when a law is broken, it becomes a public matter. Rice and Peterson broke laws and were arrested. This is a change from the "good old days" in sports when domestic violence and abusive parenting were kept in the closet and were never reported. That privacy victimized woman and children and kept them in peril; the legal system often re-victimized them. Both these cases created better awareness and spurred action toward prevention and swift punishment. This is a constructive aspect of celebrity driven media exposure.

Where is it appropriate to publicize athlete's private lives? Traditionally there have been different approaches to discipline in parenting. What is seen as abhorrent by some people is considered good parenting by others. Beating a toddler with a tree branch so that he is injured clearly crosses the line.

Is it fair to scrutinize the discipline when it falls short of violating a law? Certain athletes have fathered children with multiple mothers. Is this a behavior which should be publicized? There is no question that children parented by single mothers face challenges that others don't. Is it fair to single out those fathers for censure? Or is it nobody's business but the parents?

Donald Sterling said abhorrent and harmful things on a tape with his girlfriend. Few would disagree that harboring and expressing those thoughts should disqualify someone from NBA ownership. But is all private conversation fair game for exposure? Should anyone using a phone, or speaking in privacy be subjected to public scrutiny? If there was a method of recording someone's internal thoughts, should they be subject to public scrutiny? Hasn't virtually every person who has been angry or careless expressed themselves in a way that might hurt someone else's feelings, or offend someone if exposed?

There is a visceral reaction in this country toward the widespread tracking by the NSA of private phone calls. Fears of "1984" thought control and a police state were expressed. Celebrity media draws an audience and profits mightily from the most embarrassing activities and statements of their targets. Controversy sells. An intelligent discussion of which lawful behavior and speech should be considered public, is long overdue.

-- Leigh Steinberg has represented many of the most successful athletes and coaches in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, boxing and golf, including the first overall pick in the NFL draft an unprecedented eight times, among more than 60 first-round selections. His clients have included Hall of Fame quarterbacks Steve Young, Troy Aikman and Warren Moon, and he served as the inspiration for the movie "Jerry Maguire." Follow him on Twitter @leighsteinberg.

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Best, Worst NFL Team Arrest Rates



Adrian Peterson is the poster-child, but the Vikings have a genuinely systemic problem: Their 32 arrests in the past 10 years are tied for the league lead. As fans grow impatient with illegal activity among players, franchises like Minnesota's may feel the heat for their role.



Tied with the Vikings is the Denver Broncos, which has had as many arrests since 2005 as the NFL has teams. Despite the well-known locker room presences of Tim Tebow and then Peyton Manning, Broncos players have a knack for finding trouble.



With their recent streak of playoff appearances, you can't quite call them the Bungles. But that string of successes has come amid plenty of off-field problems: Cincinnati's NFL team has had 31 arrests since 2005.



Pacman Jones may be one of the team's most notorious criminal problems, but he's far from alone. In the past 10 years, a Titans player has been arrested 30 times.



It's fitting that a franchise that flies a pirate flag at games would be on the lesser end of the player-arrest spectrum. The Bucs have struggled with off-field problems in the last decade, tallying 26 arrests.



Carolina is one of three teams with only nine arrests in 10 years. Only five of the NFL's 32 teams have averaged fewer than one arrest per year.



The Cowboys can't seem to put it all together and make a run at the Super Bowl, but their off-field distractions aren't a major detractor. The franchise has just nine arrests to its name since 2005.



Maybe it's the steady leadership of coach Bill Belichick, who has always had a no-nonsense approach to being a team leader. If so, his system is working: the Patriots have the third-best mark in the league with only nine arrests in the past decade.



On the downside, rookie head coach Bill O'Brien inherited a team that went 2-14 last season. On the bright side, the locker room hasn't been crawling with bad influences. Houston has had only eight arrests in the past 10 years, the second-best mark in the NFL.



That's right: The least criminally offensive NFL team can be found in Arizona. The Cardinals franchise can claim just seven arrests in the past 10 years.

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