Below I’ve listed athletes who, despite having everything that one could ask for, (fame, fortune and great careers), insisted on making horrendous decisions that altered their lives and the lives of others.
Before reading, I must warn you that O.J. Simpson is not on this list. He’s been the scapegoat of this category too long. Nor is Michael Vick. Dogs are animals, get over it.
This list could have included 50 or more athletes, but for the sake of brevity I only included six.
Carruth was a first-round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers in 1997. After a promising rookie season, followed by a injury filled sophomore campaign, Carruth’s career was over. No doubt Carruth hired a hit man to shoot his pregnant girlfriend Cherica Adams in November 1999.
Adams later died, but her child, Chancellor Adams, survived a C-section, though has Cerebral Palsy. Carruth is serving a 19-year, 11-month sentence. He’s scheduled to be released on Oct. 22, 2018.
This criminal act is an oldie, but still ranks near the top of my “what were you thinking?” moments. Instead of planning and executing a rigorous training regime, Harding chose to hire someone to injure the competition, an unsuspecting Nancy Kerrigan.
After conspiring to harm Kerrigan at the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Harding’s career has tanked. Since being banned from the USFSA, Harding has appeared on reality shows, appeared in a sex tape, and tried her hand at boxing. What waste of talent, she was actually a great skater.
What can I say about Donte’ Stallworth? Currently he’s suspended indefinitely from the NFL after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter in April. After a night out on the town, filled with drinking, Stallworth struck and killed 59-year-old Mario Reyes in Miami on March 14.
Stallworth only received 30 days in jail, probation, and other useless forms of punishment. A man is dead and he is free, gotta love our judicial system.
I like to call him ‘Killer Lewis’, though Lewis was acquitted of murder in June 2000. Lewis was involved, but later viewed as an alleged peacemaker in a Super Bowl scuffle in January of 2000 in Atlanta. During the fight, Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar were killed. No other suspects were arrested.
The thing I find interesting is that Lewis paid settlements to both the Baker and Lollar families. An odd thing to do if he was really a peacemaker during the altercation. Can you say guilt?
Another speeding, rich, arrogant idiot. This time, a friend was killed. Yes, his own friend Andre Bell was the victim of his stupidity, driving 67 mph in a 35 mph zone.
The accident occurred June 9, 2007 in New Jersey. After running a stop sign, both Smith and Bell were ejected from the vehicle. Neither was wearing a seat belt. Bell died two days later. As for Smith’s punishment, 30 days in jail and 500 hours community service. You get the picture. A slap on the wrist.
Smith’s license has been suspended eight times, and he has had two tickets and three suspensions since the incident. It seems as if money amends the laws of our nation. It's sad, but true.
After leading the Ohio State Buckeyes to the 2002 National Championship, its been a downward spiral for Clarett. Then a freshman, Clarett challenged the NFL’s rule that a player must have been out of high school for three years before entering the NFL Draft.
Following several failed attempts to make a NFL squad, Clarett has failed to play in one NFL game and is now in jail on charges of robbery, carrying a concealed weapon and resisting arrest. Clarett maintains a blog while in prison called "The Mind of Maurice Clarett." I’m sure the blog is very enlightening.
No Guts, No Glory is a Sports Jabber Contributing Author.
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