In recent years, athletes and guns have become a far too common occurrence in sports. From self protection, to home protection to any other multitude of reasons, athletes have felt the need to strap some heat when away from their playing surface. There are likely hundreds of untold and unknown athletes who carry firearms, but only a certain number have made headlines with their foolish actions with said weapons.
Unfortunately for the NBA and the NFL, it has players in both of those leagues that have made the biggest headlines. Their actions have not only sullied their own names, but brought negative attention to the leagues, their players and their conduct.
These 10, however, became notorious for their actions and in some cases downright idiocy with guns.
It was 2006. Jackson was outside a strip club in Indianapolis when he was punched in the mouth and hit by a car. What his assaulters did not know was that Jackson packed a pistol that night. The former Pacers forward popped off five shots. Jackson’s incident was reported as self-defense, but it was another example of an athlete putting himself in a sticky situation where gun violence is the end result.
The Cleveland Cavaliers guard is no stranger to gun crimes. The first came in 2005 when Telfair boarded the Portland Trail Blazers charter flight with a handgun inside a pillow case. Two years later, Telfair was pulled over in New York City while driving with a suspended license and a handgun in his Range Rover.
Delonte West appeared ready to film the next edition of Mad Max when he was arrested for gun possession in September 2009. West was pulled over for a routine traffic violation and was discovered with a Beretta pistol, a .357 magnum and a Remington 870 shotgun in a guitar case.
West, who faces up to three years in jail when his trial commences on April 26, claimed the arsenal was for self-defense. Defense from what? Zombies?
Arenas and Crittenton were two of the more recent athletes to find themselves in trouble for wielding a gun. The duo foolishly brought unloaded sidearms into Wizards’ locker room and engaged in a “friendly” bout of gun play. The end results were season long suspensions for both players and the possible voiding of Arenas’ monster nine-digit contract.
The story is well-documented at this point and the repercussions were as bad as any athlete has seen for a gun charge. Former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress was slapped with a two-plus year prison term for bringing a gun into a New York City club.
The city has zero leniency when it comes to illegal gun possession. Perhaps Burress should have thought better before not only bringing the gun into the club, especially about tucking his gun into his sweatpants. At least get a holster, Plaxico.
Johnson was first busted for gun possession in the fall of 2005 when he was found with a handgun in his car while leaving a nightclub in Chicago. He was sentenced to 18 months probation and 40 hours of community service. However, the current Bengals defensive tackle outdid himself 13 months later when police searched his home and found a full blown arsenal.
Johnson was arrested for possession of six guns including two assault rifles which were all loaded. He was charged with a violation of his probation.
The incident surrounding the shooting of a Philadelphia man outside Harrison’s bar is a cloudy one that is bringing heat on the former Colts wide receiver. The victim in the case swears that Harrison is the one who chased him into the street and shot him as he tried to get into his car.
However, nothing has been pinned on Harrison except the fact that the bullet came from a gun registered to him. A victim caught in the shootout claimed it was in fact Harrison who pulled the trigger. The case remains unsettled.
There was no violent incidents surrounding Shaun Rogers’ arrest for gun possession, but he is this far up the list for the sheer action of stupidity surrounding his arrest. Rogers reportedly has a legal license to carry a concealed weapon, but what was he thinking bringing a loaded gun-with one in the chamber!-into an airport?
The gun was found during x-ray screening, but come on Shaun, even the dumbest airport security guard is going to find a gun in your bag. (Or so we can only hope). Bringing a gun into an airport in this security climate automatically moves him up the list.
The Jayson Williams Incident did not make the top spot on this list, but it is most idiotic display of common sense of an athlete with a gun. Former Nets center Jayson Williams was giving a tour of his New Jersey mansion while twirling a shotgun when the gun accidently went off and killed his limousine driver.
Rumors of a cover-up drew more attention and numerous trial postponements delayed Williams’ ultimate sentence. However, Williams finally went behind bars on January 11, 2010 when he pled guilty to aggravated assault.
Pacman Jones, the king of gun stupidity, wrecked his NFL career with one ridiculous night in a Las Vegas strip club. Jones visited Las Vegas during the 2007 NBA All-Star break and spent a night in a popular strip club which set the stage for a violent turn of events.
Jones, who “made it rain” with hundreds of single-dollar bills, went on a rampage of beating up strippers and coming to blows with security guards.
Jones then left the club. But upon his return, a member of his entourage, though someone he denied knowing began to shoot up the club. Two security guards were shot, including one who was left permanently paralyzed.
Jones was immediately suspended from the NFL and has since been on a downward spiral that has left him unemployed in professional football.