Scandals in Football

by Neil Bhardwaja

Over the past few years, the number of football scandals has exponentially increased, with terrible stories about abuse and murder by football players. These horrific incidents have shocked America and turned our attention towards the increasing corruption of football players. Here are some of the incidents below.

1.OJ Simpson (1994)

The incident of OJ Simpson shocked thousands of hardcore football fans. He was charged for the murders of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. Besides that, he failed to turn himself in, causing a low speed pursuit. This trial was filled with chaos from the NFL world, while football fans were unsure of how to react. He was acquitted in an incredibly controversial trial. The public was outraged at such a terrible event, so the NFL did gain a bad name. However, Simpson did have to pay donations of around $35,000,000 to the family.  This incident was the first major one of many more to come.

2. Leonard Little (1998)

Leonard Little was charged with manslaughter after running over Susan Gutweiler with his car. It was later discovered that he was intoxicated at the incident. He was only sent for probation for 4 years, so millions of Americans demanded more justice for the innocent woman. This case again caused an uproar, but many more athletes would also be negatively influenced by alcohol.

3. Rae Carruth (1999)

Rae Carruth was charged with conspiracy to commit murder of his girlfriend, Cherica Adams. He arranged to have his friend Van Brett Watkins to do a drive by shooting. She was shot four times and sadly died, but luckily her baby survived due to an emergency C-section. Carruth even attempted to flee, but he was luckily captured by authorities. Everyone in Colorado was shocked, as Rae Carruth was such a kind guy. His motive remains a mystery, a fact that irks several Americans.

4.Ray Lewis (2000)

This trial shocked thousands of Americans who watched such an amazing Ravens linebacker play.  On January 31, a fight broke out between Lewis and his companions and another group. Two people, Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar, were stabbed. Lewis and his friends, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges. However, a lot of evidence was missing, including the absence of Lewis’s suit. All three suspects were acquitted, and Ray Lewis was given a $250,000 fine.

5.Michael Vick (2007)

Michael Vick went from one of the most respected players to one of the most hated ones. Michael Vick was implicited in funding an illegal interstate dog fighting ring that had operated for five years. He was sentenced to 21 months of jail. His actions enraged animal rights activists and everyday Americans who adored him. Even when was released and started to play for the Eagles, players and people alike were disgusted.

6.Bounty Gate (2009-11)

This event sickened so many Saint Fans and ruined their adoration for the team. The Saints franchise was accused of paying out bonuses, or bounties, for injuring opposing team players. Some very notable targets  were Brett Favre and Kurt Warner. What drew attention to this scandal was the practice was organized at the coach’s level with a malicious intent of injuring star players. This system really highlighted corruption in the NFL world and put a spotlight, a bad one though, on the Saints. NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell doled out some of the most serious sanctions  ever. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was suspended indefinitely for starting the system. Head Coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season, and General Manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for the first eight games. In addition, the Saints organization was fined about $500,000.

7.Aaron Hernandez (2013)

Hernandez has run into a lot of trouble with the NFL. In 2013, one of his friends, Alexander S. Bradley, filed a lawsuit against him, claiming that Hernandez had shot him. On June 18, Hernandez’s house was searched by the police in connection to his friend, Odin Lloyd. Hernandez was suspicious for three reasons. Hernandez had initially destroyed his security system, the cell phone he turned in was in pieces, and he hired additional cleaners on the day that Lloyd died. Hernandez was charged with first degree, and he is currently serving life in prison with the possibility of parole.

8.Ray Rice (2014)

On February 15, Rice and his fiancee Janay Palmer were arrested for aggravated assault, after an incident in the hotel. TMZ posted a very terrible video, that showed Ray Rice throw a few punches at Janay Palmer, knocking her unconscious. On March 27, Rice was indicted on third degree aggravated assault with a possible jail sentence. For the incident, Rice was suspended for the first two games of the 2014 NFL season. The charges were dropped after he agreed to undergo court-supervised counseling. However when the video was posted, Goodell announced that Rice had been suspended indefinitely. He was reinstated after a successful appeal, but he knew he had lost the respect of millions of Americans.

9.Adrian Peterson (2014)

Adrian Peterson was indicted of reckless injury to a child on September 12th. Photos of his son were posted on TMZ, and he apparently beat his son with a tree branch. Peterson pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge of recklessly assaulting his son. After a plea argument, he is required to 80 hours and unpaid suspension until at least spring of 2015.


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