5 Notorious Incidents of Athletes at the Club Gone Wrong
San Antonio Spurs point guard, Tony Parker, recently had to undergo surgery to remove a shard of glass from his left eye. Parker may have to miss the Olympics after sustaining the injury during a fight involving singer Chris Brown and members of Hip-Hop star Drake’s entourage at the W.i.P. Club in New York City on June 14.
Parker is suing the night club $20 million in connection with the incident, claiming that the club operators were negligent in security and supervision.
This episode is one more in a long line of bad luck happenings involving athletes and night clubs.
Let’s look back at some of the more notorious incidents.
The Year: 2008
The Place: Latin Quarter, NYC
Burress suffered an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the right thigh in the Manhattan nightclub when his Glock pistol, tucked in the waistband of his sweatpants, began sliding down his leg. He reached to catch it and squeezed the trigger, causing the gun to discharge.
Burress was partying with NY Giants teammate, Antonito Pierce, who, along with Burress' wife took him to the hospital. He was released the next day and turned himself in to police two days later to face charges of criminal possession of a handgun.
NYC Mayor Bloomberg called for Plax to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Burress was indicted and later accepted a plea deal that required him to serve two years in prison and two years of supervised release.
Agent Drew Rosenhaus was one of the first to greet Burress upon his release in June of 2011 and immediately got to work for his client.
Burress signed a one-year contract with the Jets a month later and has expressed interest in playing with Cam Newton in Carolina for the upcoming 2012-2013 NFL season.
The Year: 2007
The Place: Minxx Gentlemen's Club, Las Vegas
Better known as “Pacman” at the time, Jones and his entourage were partying in the strip club during NBA All-Star Weekend. The incident introduced millions of Americans to the phrase “making it rain” as Jones reportedly went to the club with somewhere between $80 and $100 thousand in cash with the intention of doing just that. He threw the money in the air and watched as strippers clamored to claim their share.
Witnesses said that Jones became upset when a stripper began taking money without his permission resulting in a melee that ended with three people shot, one man paralyzed and a Roger Goodell issued year-long suspension and felony charges for Jones.
He served one year of probation and performed 200 hours of community service to satisfy the criminal charges. He was recently ordered to pay $11.6 million in damages to Aaron Cudworth and Thomas Urbanski, the two bodyguards that were shot outside of the club, and Urbanski’s wife.
Jones used the incident as a cautionary tale during the NFL Rookie Symposium this week, warning attendees not to make the same mistakes he did.
The Year: 2000
The Place: The Buzz, Boston
Pierce, then a 22-year old emerging star in the NBA, was stabbed 11 times in the face, neck and back during a fight while partying with teammate Tony Battie and Battie’s brother, Derrick- in the pool room at The Buzz. He was jumped by three men. Kicked and punched repeatedly, he was also hit over the head with a champagne bottle. One of the stab wounds to his sternum required surgery to repair a damaged lung.
Doctors credited the heavy leather jacket Pierce was wearing as possibly aiding in saving his life by softening some of the blows he received. He recovered from his injuries in time for the 2000-2001 season and played all 82 games.
The three men involved in the attack, Tony Hurston, Trevor Watson and William Ragland, were arrested on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Ragland was sentenced to seven to 10 years for his involvement while Watson got just one year with one and a half years suspended sentence for his role. Hurston was acquitted of all charges.
Doc Rivers reflected on the incident after the Celtics won the 2008 NBA Championship and Pierce was named Finals MVP Finals saying, "I was watching him hold that trophy, and I was thinking to myself, 'Paul Pierce was not just almost out the league. He was almost dead.'”
The Year: 2000
The Place: The Cobalt Lounge, Atlanta
He was charged along with friends Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, who were all said to have engaged in a verbal argument that escalated and led to a fight between two groups around 4 a.m.
Lewis’ attorney maintained his innocence the whole time, saying that Lewis had acted solely as a peacemaker and ultimately, the Baltimore Ravens linebacker consented to a plea agreement that allowed him to avoid murder charges and jail time with a reduced misdemeanor charge of obstructing justice, agreeing to testify against his two friends.
The Ravens won the Super Bowl the next season and Lewis received Super Bowl MVP honors. In the years since, he has maintained a reputation as one of the league’s most aggressive and ferocious defenders on the field. His Christian faith and his charity work have been celebrated off the field.
The Year: 2007
The Place: The Shelter, Denver
Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was killed in the early morning hours of New Year’s day when bullets were fired into his stretch limo a little after 2 a.m. following a confrontation at a New Year’s Eve party celebrating the birthday of Denver Nuggets player Kenyon Martin. He had sustained a single gunshot wound to the neck.
Williams became the second NFL player to die while active on a team roster.
According to a piece in Sports Illustrated, the bullets could have been intended for Brandon Marshall because of an altercation he had with gang members in the club that night.