“People are not coming at your average Joe anymore,” said Fisher, who called for the NFL to implement stricter security measures to protect players. “They are coming after athletes. People feel like athletes are an easy win. Why not (rob) an athlete?” –Travis Fisher, defensive back for the Detroit Lions.
“For the most part, we have way more money than the president but less security,” –Dwight Smith, Safety Minnesota Vikings.
Long time readers of my Blog know that this topic is of special concern to me. Having worked with several professional athletes early in my career, I have spend countless hours trying to educate these players, agents and handlers on the importance of having adequate security.
Lately the public is becoming more aware the crimes are escalating from assault and robbery to deadly homicides. Please rest assured that outside of murder, which of course will make the mainstream media spotlight, the number of professional athletes that are victims of crimes which could have been prevented by having the proper security measures in place, is much higher than reported.
“_____ needs someone are you available?” Are the calls I usually get AFTER a crime has been committed. However, those of us in the VIP Protection industry are much more successful being proactive versus reactive. It’s a little too late after the damage has been done, and what’s worst some athletes are usually more concerned with public perception (don’t change my schedule, I don’t want to appear scared!) or the financial cost. (How much will I have to pay for a two man protection team in the off season???)
The leagues have also been a little stubborn in acknowledging that they have the duty and the resources to do more to make their athletes safe. It usually boils down to two things: red tape and financial responsibility. It’s a long uphill battle, and in the meantime I’ve been working with several agents who represent players not yet in the professionals. Individuals like Marquise Watts, a longtime friend whose agency, NetGain Sports, makes players pay particular attention to what happens off the court as well as on. Instilling some core principals on safety and security is much easier when you have people around athletes that care.
Rest In Peace, Sean Taylor, The wake up call continues. I just hope the next multimillionaire thinks twice before choosing the Bentley over the Bodyguard. — One will give you a much bigger return on your investment.
Elijah Shaw, CEO
Icon Services Corporation