Issues with Black Professional Athletes–Fact or Myth

I apologize for posting this extremely late (this incident happened early January and I forgot to publish this onto the blog but I feel it’s still important to post it today).

It was truly a sad day when 24-year-old Darrent Williams, a cornerback for the Denver Broncos, was shot dead on a street in the Denver area. Darrent Williams had just finished a great second year of his career as an NFL player after his team lost their playoff hopes in the final regular season game against the San Francisco 49ers.

The night after the game, Williams’ limo was leaving a night club after the celebration of Kenyon Martin’s Birthday party (Martin is a forward for the Denver Nuggets). Reports say that there was some verbal conflict in the club between two groups, Williams was not directly involved in the dispute. Shots were fired into the Chevy Yukon where one of the stray bullets struck Williams in the neck falling into the arms of his teammate, Javon Walker who was also in the Yukon that was sprayed with bullets.

Pacman Jones, defensive back for the Tennessee Titans was forced by the Las Vegas police to give up $81,000 after there was suspicion that he was connected or involved in a triple shooting at a Las Vegas strip club during the NBA All-Star weekend gala.

Lastly, the Cincinnati Bengals over the past year have had nine players arrested for various crimes from driving under the influence to spousal abuse. All but one of the players who were involved in the legal issues were black.

As a black man, I am hesitant to say that black males are stigmatized with problems with the law, however, statistics and documented stories show that a disproportionate of black men commit crimes. Unfortunately, this could be said about black professional athletes despite their financial security. I would like to ask: Are these incidents just a coincidence or a product of black males rooted into a society (low-income class, single-parent families and etc.) vulnerable to crime?


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