Broncos safety Ryan Murphy was briefly handcuffed and detained by police in San Jose Tuesday after he was discovered in the passenger seat of a car driven by his brother with an alleged prostitute. Although the NFL rookie was not issued a citation for his involvement in the incident with the woman, whom his brother reportedly has a relationship with, the player has been sent packing back to Denver to watch the Super Bowl from home.
CBS SF first reported the events involving Murphy, a native of Oakland, CA where he attended Oakland Tech. Unlike Murphy, his brother was cited for aiding in prostitution, reportedly as he was the driver, and the woman was also cited and provided county resource information.
Apparently, Murphy's brother and the accused prostitute had a "relationship."
Statement from Denver Broncos HC Gary Kubiak: pic.twitter.com/tVToEUxnYu— Patrick Smyth (@psmyth12) February 3, 2016
The Washington Post adds that Murphy was a Seahawks seventh round draft pick from Oregon State, but was waived in September and added to the Broncos practice squad a month later. He is a cousin of Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch.
A Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson tells KRON4 News that the Santa Clara County human trafficking task force has increased its operations leading up to the Super Bowl next Sunday, operating under the popular if probably apocryphal notion that the event brings with it an uptick in prostitution and human trafficking.
According to Inside Edition, who accompanied the Santa Clara task force, the sting was dubbed “Operation Charlie Brown” in what is likely a reference to Charlie and Lucy's football antics.
The incident occurred at around 4 or 5 p.m. yesterday near North First Street and Brokaw Road in San Jose, an area authorities say is known for prostitution. The task force replied to an online ad and met the 18-year-old woman suspected of prostitution. After she was detained, they followed her back to a car parked at a nearby gas station from which she said she needed to retrieve some property. In it they discovered Murphy and his brother.
As coach Kubiak notes, Murphy's "status as a practice squad player has not changed at this time." And the incident is a relatively minor distraction for the team. It is, however, the second, after a trio of Broncos' team buses collided on the way from a practice session to their hotel on Monday, injuring a California Highway Patrol Officer.
Murphy's situation is peanuts compared to that of former Falcons safety Eugene Robinson, arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover officer before the Super Bowl 17 years ago. However, the New York Post recalls Robinson's warning, which might serve well for players today. "Don’t mess this up, man... If a team beats you, that’s different... “But if you beat yourself, that’s criminal."