It is no secret society places athletes on a pedestal. They are heroes in the respective cities they play, and are portrayed as role models for the younger generations whom adorn their rooms with their favorite player’s memorabilia. When athletes are involved in a scandal, all of their fans share in the crushing blow of disappointment seeing their hometown hero’s reputation destroyed.
Over the course of history we have seen countless figures across every sport get arrested for an array of crimes, some more serious than others. Some cases, the athletes were charged rather severely, presumably to be made an example of, but for the vast majority of cases, the charges are but a mere slap on the wrist. Whether it is their stardom, protection from the franchise they play for, or the ability to throw around large sums of money for a quality of legal representation the common criminal can’t afford, athletes often find a way to avoid the full punishment of the law.
It can be incredibly frustrating to see, as everybody should have to pay the consequences for their actions, but it seems one's status can affect whether or not they are held responsible.
Here is a look at some of the most well known cases of such injustice.
15 Donte' Stallworth
14 Lawrence Taylor
13 Dany Heatley
12 Ron Artest (Metta World Peace)
11 Adam “Pacman” Jones
10 Tonya Harding
9 Oscar Pistorious
8 Corie Blount
7 Jim Leyritz
6 Jayson Williams
5 Lenny Dykstra
4 Bruce Kimball
3 Don King
This is a bit of a reach, as Don King isn’t an athlete himself, but his name is so synonymous with professional boxing, he cannot be omitted. In 1954 two men tried robbing King’s gambling house in Cleveland. King shot and killed one of the men. The judge in the case ruled the killing a “justifiable homicide” and King served no time.
2 Ray Lewis
1 O.J. Simpson
Were you expecting someone else? Without question the most famous athlete-scandal in all history was the O.J. Simpson trial for the murder of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. All signs pointed to O.J. The bloody glove, the white Bronco pursuit, the bodies found outside of his Brentwood condo, The Juice was toast. An estimated 100 million people nationwide stopped what they were doing to watch the final verdict. Simpson was acquitted of all crimes, and the murder of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman remain unsolved to this day.
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