I should stop referring to the killers and woman-beaters on the ravens team and the pedophiles on the steelers team if I don't want to hear back about the dog killer on my team (the eagles). However, the way I see it, the difference is that our player actually paid his debt to society through the conventional means (the criminal justice system).
It has been suggested the NFL is full of criminals, found on any team. While this is true, I don't see it as a reflection of professional sports, but of society as a whole. Criminality is found everywhere, even among those you wouldn't suspect.