The Minnesota Vikings’ community has been recently stirred by the news of right guard Oli Udoh’s traffic violations. Udoh, the 2019 6th round pick, picked up three citations in May for speeding and reckless driving have sparked concerns that extend beyond the realm of the football field 1
As reported by Sports Illustrated’s Will Ragatz, court documents show 3 separate driving violations that were cited to Udoh by Twin Cities police in May of 2023. On May 4th, Udoh was cited for speeding at a rate of 97 mph in a 55, 42 mph over the speed limit. Udoh was cited again on May 6th for reckless driving as he was “weaving” in and out of lanes and driving without a passenger in the carpool lane. The 3rd and final reported citation occurred on May 25h on Highway 77 where he was speeding at a rate of 64 mph which is 9 miles over the speed limit. The 3rd citation also states that Udoh allegedly closed his car window while the State Patrol officer was in the middle of explaining the violation to him.
As Vikings fans, it’s our responsibility to consider the larger narrative surrounding Udoh’s journey and the valuable lessons it offers.
In 2022, Udoh found himself at the center of a legal storm following an episode at a Miami nightclub. He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. However, after a thorough review of the case, which included video evidence and eyewitness testimonies, these charges were dropped in their entirety. The allegations in the police report were found to be “completely fabricated”, and it was determined that Udoh was “unlawfully arrested”2.
Despite confronting adversity, Oli Udoh finds himself at an important juncture, transforming these trials into valuable learning experiences. The prospect of making a more significant impact in the 2nd year of Coach O’Connell’s offense looms ahead. With a solid record of 41 games and 17 starts in his first four years with the Minnesota Vikings, Udoh is no newcomer to the pressures of professional football.
With right tackle Brian O’Neill’s Achilles injury late in the 2022 season, Udoh could potentially find himself at the helm as a starting right tackle if O’Neill’s recovery is still underway. Such a transition, fueled by Udoh’s unwavering commitment to the game and his dedication to the Minnesota Vikings, encapsulates the inspiring story of resilience and redemption in the NFL.
Udoh’s recent traffic violations, while concerning, represent a key moment of personal and professional growth. This situation serves as a wake-up call to reinforce the vital importance of athletes maintaining professionalism and responsibility on and off the field.
As the anticipation builds for the 2023 NFL season, Udoh’s journey offers a unique narrative. It serves as a testament to the power of resilience, and the capacity to navigate adversity. These qualities are ones our beloved Vikings can, and indeed should, embody in the upcoming season.