Current and former NFL players are racking up headlines this week for alleged abominable behavior. Among the criminal charges against them are human trafficking, beating up an old man, gang-related charges and disorderly conduct. Once again, we’re reminded why some call it the National “Felons” League.
Where to start with such a lengthy list of hideous behavior?
Let’s go with Alvin Kamara (appearing in photo), a Pro Bowl running back for New Orleans and the most notable of the active players doing the perp walk. He was videotaped beating up an elderly man at a Las Vegas hotel a year ago, but just got indicted on felony battery charges this week. He delivered several damaging blows to his victim, as seen in a video.
Outkick blogger Glenn Gilbeau says Kamara’s career is in jeopardy after he and three others caused substantial bodily harm to Victim Darnell Greene Jr. The victim suffered a fractured bone in his eye socket in that bloody hotel incident. Kamara was in town to play in the 2022 Pro Bowl, and he was arrested after the game. His case goes to trial March 2.
Greene was knocked unconscious in the incident, suffered a disfiguring broken orbital lobe and severe injuries to his shoulder, back and neck. He’s suing for $10 million. Kamara and the others who allegedly attacked him boasted about the beatdown.
Stevan Ridley was a Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots. He once rushed for 1,263 yards and last weekend got rushed to jail for a disorderly conduct charge in Mississippi. Details of the incident at a Natchez nightclub are not available, but Ridley was released on a $750 bound. He played in the NFL for eight seasons, including four with the Patriots.
The most decorated player in the bunch is NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, a long-time star receiver for Dallas. He was accused of misconduct by a woman at a hotel and suspended by the NFL Network and ESPN. Irvin was yanked from broadcast crews covering Sunday’s Super Bowl game.
Irvin quickly filed a $100 million lawsuit against his unnamed accuser and the Renaissance Hotel. A judge ordered the hotel to provide video of the alleged incident by Feb. 20.
Six-year NFL veteran Eric Johnson is one of eight persons arrested on charges of trafficking four women and one girl, along with other gang-related charges. The LOTTO Gang members were accused Thursday of trafficking persons for sexual servitude, violation of the street gang terrorism and prevention act, conspiracy to violate the racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act (RICO), aggravated assault and kidnapping. A grand jury indicted them Feb. 8.
Gang members allegedly engaged in 41 illegal acts in 2021 and 2022, controlling their female victims against their will and through violence. Johnson played as a special teamer for Oakland in the 2003 Super Bowl and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown. If allegations are true, his recent actions are anything but special.
Athletes are so often looked up to as heroes and role models, especially Irvin for his storied career and Kamara for his six-TD game. This lengthy rap sheet demonstrates we need to be careful of who we hold up as cultural icons because some athletes are undeserving of adulation.