Crime and sports seem to go hand in hand. There have been instances of wrongdoing in virtually every sport, from football to figure skating.
With the recent arrest of NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez, crime is again at the forefront of the sporting world. In light of this, here is a look at some of the most infamous crimes committed by athletes or those associated with sports. Hernandez is omitted due to the fact that his case is still ongoing.
- Plaxico Burress
|Photo by: Seth Wenig|
- Barry Bonds
762 career home runs, 73 of those in one season alone. Without question, Barry Bonds was one of the greatest baseball players to ever step foot on a field. However, his legacy took a major blow when reports surfaced of his alleged use of anabolic steroids. Bonds testified to a grand jury that he believed he had been using flaxseed oil and arthritis cream. On April 13th, 2006, an investigation was launched and it was determined that the former outfielder had committed perjury. He was indicted on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice, and was sentenced to 30 days of house arrest, two years probation, and over 200 hours of community service. Bonds is currently attempting to appeal his conviction.
- Ray Lewis
Lewis is arguably the all-time face of the Baltimore Ravens. He's a legend in the city, and helped the team win two Super Bowls. He also has a dark cloud that will forever hang over him. On January 31st, 2000, Lewis and some friends got into a fight with another group of men, two of which were stabbed to death in the scuffle. Lewis was later charged with murder and aggravated assault. Instead of fighting the charges, the linebacker took a plea deal in agreement to testify against his two companions and a guilty plea of obstruction of justice. Lewis was given twelve months probation. The following season, he won Super Bowl MVP.
- Darryl Strawberry
Strawberry may be best known for his controversial behavior off the diamond as opposed to his great play on it. Despite being a four-time World Series champion and an eight-time All-Star, the former outfielder has the criminal rap sheet of a common street thug. His crimes range from solicitation of a prostitute to failure to pay child support, along with numerous counts of drug possession.
- Ryan Leaf
|Photo by: Larry Beckner|
- Tonya Harding
One of the most notorious crimes in sports history took place in the world of figure skating. On January 6th, 1994, Nancy Kerrigan was viciously attacked and beaten with a baton. Her attacker, Shane Stant, was hired by Tonya Harding's husband and bodyguard in an attempt to break Kerrigan's leg and guarantee Harding a spot on the 1994 Olympic Team. She pled guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution, and was sentenced to three years probation, 500 hours of community service, and a $160,000 fine. Her fellow attackers all saw jail time.
- Donte Stallworth
On March 14th, 2009, Stallworth was driving his Bentley in Miami when he struck and killed a pedestrian. The wide receiver was well over the legal drinking limit and was also reportedly under the influence of marijuana to boot. He was charged with DUI manslaughter and agreed to a plea deal, serving 24 days in jail.
- Michael Vick
Vick is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. He is also a convicted felon. In 2007, it was revealed that the QB was connected to dog fighting. Vick financed the fights, as well as participated in the executions of dogs. He admitted to killing as many as eight canines either by hanging or drowning. Vick pled guilty to felony dog fighting and was sentenced to three years in prison and a $2,500 fine. He was released in 2009, and picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles.
- O.J. Simpson
|Photo by: Julie Jacobson|
- Jerry Sandusky
While Jerry Sandusky wasn't an athlete, he used his authority as a sports figure to perform extremely vile acts. An assistant coach under Joe Paterno at Penn State University, Sandusky started the Second Mile charity, used to help out troubled children. Little did the world know he was sexually abusing boys that he met through the organization. Sandusky was charged with over 40 counts of sex crimes against minors, and was sentenced to 60 years in prison. At his age, he'll never walk a free man again.