Andy Reid owes the world an explanation about his son Britt
8 mins read

Andy Reid owes the world an explanation about his son Britt

Back in 2021, Britt Reid, then the Chiefs’ linebackers coach and son of celebrated Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, left team headquarters drunk, smashed his truck into two cars stopped on the side of the interstate at 84 mph, and put a five-year old Ariel Young into a coma. Young sustained a traumatic brain injury, and five others, including Reid were injured in the crash. Two hours after the incident, Reid’s blood alcohol content was still .113.

When law enforcement arrived at the scene, Reid told officers he had two to three drinks in addition to taking his prescription Adderall. Though police say they saw obvious signs of impairment, Reid was taken to the hospital for surgery on his groin and was not arrested.

Reid wouldn’t be arrested for a full two months, while local cops “investigated” the crash. As a lawyer who frequently represented people accused of driving drunk, I can assure you that that is not how things typically go. DUI arrests, which are big business for some municipalities because of the ease of prosecution and the heavy fines imposed, are more of an “arrest first and ask questions later” crime, and never once in all my time in DUI court did I come across a person who caused a crash with serious injuries who wasn’t immediately arrested and, sometimes, handcuffed to their hospital bed.

During the time cops and prosecutors were dilly-dallying with the son of the Chiefs head coach, Ariel Young fought for her life in a hospital. Her family created a Go Fund Me to offset the astronomical cost of her medical bills and the care she would potentially need for the rest of her life. More than a year later, Young’s mother, Felicia Miller, described how Ariel’s life had been forever changed.

“Her daughter drags her right foot when she walks and will soon see a doctor about leg braces. Ariel has poor balance. She’s in special education classes because she takes longer to process information. She also wears thick glasses that she didn’t need before.”

In November of 2022, Britt Reid eventually plead guilty to one felony count of drunk driving (which is far less a charge than what I have seen people similarly situated to Reid hit with, and which Ariel Young’s family did not believe was strong enough), and sentenced to three years in prison, though the crime with which he was charged carried a sentence of up to seven years, and if there was ever a case of aggravating circumstances, this seemed to be it.

And now, adding insult to injury, Missouri Governor Mike Parson has commuted (i.e., shortened) Britt Reid’s sentence, saying, “Mr. Reid has completed his alcohol abuse treatment program and has served more prison time than most individuals convicted of similar offenses.”

I can tell you for a fact that, while that may be true in Missouri, it is certainly not true for other places in the country, where DUI’s (especially those involving serious injury) are often charged as much higher crimes and the defendants sentenced to much longer terms in prison. One legal website described the penalty for DUI assault in Missouri, which occurs when another person is injured as the result of a DUI, as a charge that carries up to 15 years in prison. Injuring five people, as Britt Reid did, could have potentially meant five charges of DUI assault, each carrying an individual sentence of up to 15 years.

What’s worse, the commutation was done over the apparent objection of Ariel Young’s family, whose lawyer told the Daily Beast, “The family is disgusted, I am disgusted, and I believe . . . that the majority of the people in the state of Missouri are disgusted by the governor’s actions. If you drink and drive and you put a little girl in a coma, you should have to serve the entire sentence that a judge of this state gave you.”

“But wait! It was a mistake! Britt Reid has been through treatment and deserves a second chance!” you say. But Britt Reid has already had a second chance. He was convicted of a previous DUI in 2008. That time, he served five months in prison for that offense in conjunction with a road-rage incident where he brandished a gun at another driver.

And Britt Reid is not the only Reid son to have run-ins with the law. In November of 2007, while Andy Reid was coaching in Philadelphia, his son, Garrett Reid, was also sentenced to prison for a DUI crash that injured another driver. According to police, Garrett Reid had heroin and more than 200-pills in his car at the time of his arrest. He then further faced charges that he attempted to smuggle approximately 90 prescription pills into prison the same week he was sentenced. During a sentencing hearing, the judge in Garrett Reid’s case compared the coach’s home to “a drug emporium” and questioned whether his adult sons should live there. “There isn’t any structure there that this court can depend upon,” the judge said before sentencing Garrett to up to 23 months in prison.

Garrett admitted that he liked the status of being a drug dealer, telling a probation officer in 2007, “I liked being the rich kid in that area and having my own high-status life. I could go anywhere in the ‘hood. They all knew who I was. I enjoyed it. I liked being a drug dealer.” Garrett Reid was found dead in his dorm room at Eagles training camp in 2012.

If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard this before, it’s because the NFL media seems to have a weird aversion to asking Andy Reid questions about anything other than what he likes to eat and who his favorite rappers are. In 2023, USA Today’s Jarrett Bell wrote about the surreal Super Bowl press conference, where Andy Reid, only months after Britts’ arrest, was asked questions about how he takes his coffee, his favorite cheeseburger, and to name his three favorite rappers. No one asked about his children’s history of recklessly injuring people or how they keep winding up on his team’s payrolls. But hey, Andy Reid has a funny mustache and wears Hawaiian shirts, so I guess that’s good enough.

If Britt Reid is not Andy Reid’s son, he’s arrested immediately for DUI at the scene of the horrific accident caused by his drinking at team headquarters. If Britt Reid is not Andy Reid’s son, he is sentenced to a much lengthier prison sentence. And if Britt Reid is not Andy Reid’s son, his sentence for injuring four people and putting a five-year old girl in a coma is not commuted by Missouri’s governor. Andy Reid’s silence throughout it all is craven and inexcusable. The media’s refusal to force him to comment, at long last, is equally as bad.

Families who struggle with addiction deserve our grace and support. There but for the grace of God and all that. And certainly, rehabilitation and recovery should be at the forefront of our criminal justice system when it comes to handling addicts. But when other people are injured as the result of an addict’s actions, especially a young child, the addict must be held to account, as should those who enabled the addict’s behavior and, therefore, the resulting injury. NFL coaches answer hard questions for a living. It boggles belief that Andy Reid hasn’t been pressured to speak out in the wake of the damage caused by his children, which — if one judge is to be believed — originated in his home.

Deadspin reached out to the Kansas City Chiefs and Andy Reid for comment. At the time of publication, they had not responded to our request. 

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