The Las Vegas Raiders are severing ties with second-year cornerback Damon Arnette, a first-round pick in 2020, after video surfaced this weekend of him threatening to kill someone while brandishing guns in a TikTok video. Arnette is already facing two lawsuits stemming from a car crash last year and had been on injured reserve since October 9.
The video was posted by Arnette last week and went viral this week. The decision to waive Arnette comes less than a week after twelfth-overall pick Henry Ruggs III was released following a DUI crash last week that left a woman and her dog dead.
The decision by Las Vegas Raiders to waive Arnette only adds to his troubles. "Very painful decision," Raiders general manager Mike Mayock told ESPN on Monday. "We spent significant time, effort and resources trying to help him in all aspects of his life.
The video was posted by Arnette last week but didn't go down well with the management of the Las Vegas Raiders, who going by their zero tolerance policy immediately decided to release the athlete.
"[I'm] five minutes away," Arnette can be heard saying in the self-recorded video which he posted on social media. The video shows him holding a series of firearms and threatening to kill someone, who isn't named in the clip. "Pull up lame-ass n*****, I swear to god I will kill you, n*****. On everything I love, I will kill you, n*****. You talking crazy."
Mayock acknowledged there were character concerns around Arnette coming out of college but the team felt they could help him with any off-the-field issues. "Obviously, we missed. That is 100% on me," Mayock said.
Arnette, said Mayock, is "a very talented young man with a good heart. He cleans up his life, I know he can make a living in the NFL. But not now, with the Raiders."
Paying for Reckless Move
The move to waive Arnette comes less than a week after Ruggs III was released following a fatal DUI crash last week. A 23-year-old woman and her dig were killed in the accident. Authorities said Ruggs was driving 156 mph with a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit in Nevada. He faces multiple felonies and jail time if convicted.
That said, Arnette, been on injured reserve since October 9 and is already embroiled in controversy as he faces at least two lawsuits stemming from a Las Vegas car accident last October.
The Raiders selected Arnette No 19 overall out of Ohio State in the 2020 draft. Injuries limited him to 13 games in his Raiders career. He didn't record any interceptions and had 29 tackles.
The two high-profile incidents with high draft picks has now raised questions about if being in Las Vegas makes it difficult for young players because of the temptations, as the city is known for it nightlife. Mayock said the team does take the city into consideration when they look into acquiring players to determine how well they will fit but doesn't believe it's a major factor.
"We do have to be aware of Vegas. But my thing is in just about any mid- or big-sized city in the country, if you want to find trouble, you can find it," he said.