I touched on a topic a few times this week that has generated a lot of interest and discussion — Violence committed against Athletes. In writing a Blog on the Bodyguard Industry and how it integrates into the business, entertainment and sports worlds, I’m always striving for that balance between professional objectivity and personalizing the issues. At the end of the day, my 2cent might matter just as much as anyone else’s but sometimes, enough is enough and you have to just speak what’s in your heart. Denver Football player, Darrent Williams. 24 years old. Just the latest example of an athlete involved in a violent incident and this time, the results are deadly.
Athletes are targets, plain and simple. The episodes I highlighted in previous post—and many others I didn’t—point this out.
Most professional athletes don’t hire professional security services for protection for a number of reasons: Perhaps it’s because, as athletes, they feel invincible. It’s a high status and privileged life. Being on top of the world can make one feel as if they can handle any situation that comes their way. Unfortunately in the area of personal security, we’ve seen how that turns out time and time again.
Maybe most athletes don’t hire professional security providers because they feel that their friends–people who’ve they’ve known and trusted from the neighborhood since they were children—will keep trouble away from them. Using “Tank” Johnson as just one example, we know how tragically that turns out.
What needs to be done here? One solution is for team owners to look at hiring security for individual athletes or player pools (small groups of 3-4 players in which the protective agent is on call for any of them at any given time). Of course owners will probably look at this as an extra expense, but don’t you think that their assets—in this case the athletes who are worth millions to the various leagues and its sponsors—are worth protecting?
This is one of several ideas I’m involved in talks with, because at the end of the day the business of the bodyguard is to PROTECT and I’m tired of seeing young men getting gunned down way too early in their lives and careers.
A topic of a lot of discussion on this Blog have been Professional Athletes and violence. Here is a listing of the most dangerous cities for Players, and some are pretty suprising.
- Seahawks safety Ken Hamlin suffers season-ending head injury as result of bar fight in 2005.
- Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker Joey Porter is one of five people wounded in shooting at Denver sports bar in 2003. Police suspect incident is gang-related.
- Several NBA stars are held up in separate incidents during 2006 NBA All-Star weekend, one All-Star at gunpoint, according to News sources; none file police reports.
- Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams is shot and killed outside of a nightclub after celebrating birthday of Denver Nuggets’ Kenyon Martin.
- Nuggets rookie and Harlem product Julius Hodge is shot four times driving on Denver highway last year after leaving nightclub.
- Then-Celtic Antoine Walker is robbed at gunpoint of $100,000 in jewelry and cash outside nightclub in 2000.
- Pacers swingman Stephen Jackson is hit by car during fight outside strip club in October. Jackson fires gun and is scheduled to stand trial in February on felony charge of criminal recklessness and misdemeanor counts of battery and disorderly conduct.
- Chargers defensive back Terence Kiel is shot in apparent carjacking attempt in 2003.
- Members of rapper Fabolous’ posse rob $50,000 chain from Celtics guard Sebastian Telfair outside P. Diddy-owned restaurant Justins in October. Fabolous is shot shortly after incident; Telfair, from Coney Island, denies involvement.
- Stephon Marbury, with Nets in 2000, has $150,000 chain encrusted with diamonds ripped from his neck as he leaves Chelsea club. Then-Net Chris Childs is robbed at same club of $30,000 in jewelry & cash in 2002.
- Three armed men steal jewelry from Steve Francis, then with Rockets, at Harlem hair salon in 2000.
- Titans CB Adam Jones is arrested for disorderly conduct and public intoxication in August 2006. Claims woman stole his wallet; she denies charge and says he spit on her. In October, Jones is cited for misdemeanor assault for allegedly spitting in her face.
- Falcons cornerback Elijah Williams is shot in leg in 2001 outside Atlanta bar. Police call it robbery attempt.
- Two men are stabbed to death after brawl with Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and friends outside Buckhead nightclub after Super Bowl party. Lewis is charged with murder but later pleads guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of justice.
- Corey Fuller of Ravens uses gun to thwart robbery when confronted by two armed men outside home in 2004.
- Eagles DE Jerome McDougle is shot in abdomen, robbed of a $20,000 watch as he sits in car in 2005.
- Bengals receiver Chris Henry, who pointed a gun at crowd during argument in Orlando, pleads guilty last year to a concealed weapon charge.
- Celtics star Paul Pierce is stabbed 11 times in 2000 by nightclub patron.
This is included in a very well written article from the NY Daily News. You can read the full story here.
The Rocky Mountain News asks if Bodyguards are the solution to the recent acts of violence commited against athletes lately. I’m currently in the process of preparing an article on that for industry mag (which I’ll post here as well), but what do you think?
DENVER — Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was killed early Monday when his white stretch Hummer was sprayed by bullets after a nightclub dispute following a New Year’s Eve party. Full story here.
Yet another senseless tragedy in the world of sports…
More details on the life of Tank Johnson’s bodyguard(?) who was killed at a nightclub shooting. Click here for full story.
*Insider’s tip #48*
Surrounding yourself with professionals will never hurt your image if things get ugly.
A good article from the Chicago Sun Times:
”As long as guys continue to hire their buddies instead of professionals, it will remain a macho thing and there will be altercations,”
Troy Smith‘s Heisman Trophy was shipped home because airport security would not allow the Ohio State quarterback to take it on the plane Tuesday.
Two words: Oh brother.