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NFL players union teams with app maker to halt drunk driving

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The NFL players union is taking action to reduce the number of drunk driving incidents involving its members by teaming up with smart phone transportation app maker Uber. 

Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent stands on the sidelines as the Dallas Cowboys take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. The NFL players union is taking action to reduce the number of drunk driving incidents involving its members by teaming up with smart phone transportation app maker Uber.

The partnership announced Wednesday will see NFL players in 17 of the 31 cities that have teams able to use the Uber app to summon rides for themselves or family members.

Drunk driving incidents involving players have made many headlines, including a crash last December in which Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent was behind the wheel and teammate and friend Jerry Brown died.

Brent has pleaded not guilty to intoxication manslaughter but could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

A statement released by the NFL Players Association said every player in the league will receive key chain cards containing ride credits for the specially tailored program.

NFLPA player representative Zak De Ossie of the New York Giants said the partnership is not only good for players but can also promote responsibility among fans by example.

The deal is a first with a sports organization for Uber, whose technology is available in 40 cities worldwide. Some US cities, including Houston and Miami, don't allow use of Uber's Global Positioning System-based technology because of regulatory issues.

"Many professional athletes love and have used Uber organically so this was a great opportunity to help raise awareness about our technology while helping the NFLPA tackle a serious issue," Uber co-founder and chief executive Travis Kalanick said.

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