It is almost impossible to find a group of people in our society that did not have to get in touch with bail bondsmen at some point. One group, or, a team rather, are people in professional sports. As we tend to watch games almost every night, it is difficult not to notice a massive amount of attention directed at famous players.
The amount of attention does not mean they are different than most of people around. They drive cars, drink, enjoy life and sometimes they may make make a wrong turn or, in some cases, they might do something completely wrong.
The morning talk shows on ESPN, FOX SPORTS, and other networks, will weigh in their opinions - a lot of opinions - and contributing to defining public opinion about the person in question. While negative public opinion about somebody can and will definitely hurt - just look at Twitter these days - an appearance in court is different. Depending on the outcome, a person can walk away, completely free, or stay behind bars.
Let’s take a look at some famous cases here.
Billy Ray Bates - Portland Trail Blazers and LA Lakers
In 1998, Billy Ray Bates robbed a New Jersey gas station at knife point, even slashing the ear of the cashier. He was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison for his actions that cold January night.
William Bedford - Phoenix Suns
in 2001, William Bedford was convicted of transporting 25 pounds of MJ across Michigan. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Allen Iverson is a player that drew the most of public attention. A successful basketball player for Philadelphia 76ers, he was drawing attention on different courts, pun intended. Before becoming a part of a NBA franchise, he was involved in an altercation that could end up his game forever. What he said about the event in 1993:
“For me to be in a bowling alley where everybody in the whole place know who I am and be crackin' people upside the head with chairs and think nothin' gonna happen? That's crazy! And what kind of a man would I be to hit a girl in the head with a damn chair? I rather have 'em say I hit a man with a chair, not no damn woman.”
Art Schlichter ended up spending more time in prison than in any pro football league due to crimes he allegedly committed all because of his gambling habits, and he earned a prison sentence of 16 years in 1997 after he was found guilty of felony charges “a fifth time” since 1983 according to the New York Times.
Per Associated Press and CBS Sacramento reports, Wright was convicted of a variety of crimes -- 19 in all -- including armed robbery, kidnapping, first-degree burglary, false imprisonment and forcible oral copulation. Wright received 114 years to life along with an additional 120 years and eight months, meaning he theoretically would not be eligible for parole until over two centuries have passed.
There are other professional players accused of far worse crimes and you can read more at the links below. Next week we’ll dissect it bit more.