Athletes may reach the highest levels of stardom thanks to their achievements on the stadiums, but reckless behavior or irresponsible behavior may cause them to spoil at a moment the success they have built over many years.
A report published by the US website ” Nickiswift ” reviewed the stories of a number of sports stars whose careers ended tragically, out of the limelight, and sometimes behind bars.
Murder and suicide
Aaron Hernandez started a promising career in American football when he finished college and joined the New England Patriots in 2010.
But about 3 years after joining the professional league, problems began, as his friend Alexander Bradley was shot in the face, and accused him of targeting him after a quarrel between them. Months later, the body of Odin Lloyd (one of Hernandez’s friends) was found in Massachusetts, and Hernandez was arrested for the murder of Lloyd and released hours later, but in 2015 he was brought to trial and convicted of first degree murder.
While serving a life sentence, Hernandez appeared in court on charges of killing two other men in their car in 2012, but he was acquitted. Just days after the verdict, Hernandez was found to have committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell, when he was 27 years old.
Michael Vick was a distinguished player in the Atlanta Falcons American football team at the beginning of this century, but his sports career experienced an unexpected setback due to a strange hobby.
On his private ranch in Virginia, he was organizing dog fights, and police raided the place in 2007, accused of misusing animals and organizing prohibited activity, and he was sentenced to 23 months in prison, and he was forced to enter a drug treatment program.
Vic’s participation in the professional league was suspended, and he returned to activity after finishing his prison sentence in 2009, but he lost his stardom due to that incident.
American cyclist Lance Armstrong was shocked when he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in October 2012. The US Anti-Doping Agency published a report containing testimony from 11 Armstrong colleagues asserting that he was taking illegal doping. The American cyclist is said to have been assisted by coaches and medical staff. Advertising
Armstrong continued to deny taking steroids until his interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013, when he confessed, “I regard this situation as a big lie that I have repeated many times; the truth is not what I said … I am wrong and I know it well, all the blame here rests with me.” “.
Lamar Odom played 14 seasons in the NBA and was one of the stars of the competition, but things got a lot worse in his last career when he joined the Los Angeles Calipers in the 2012-2013 season, as he became addicted to drugs, which hastened the end of his sports career.
In 2015, Odom was found unconscious in a Nevada nightclub due to a drug overdose, and he was hospitalized for three months after that incident.
The reputation of American golf star Tiger Woods was badly damaged after a violent fight between him and his wife Ellen Nordgren in 2010 over his extramarital affairs. After the news spread in newspapers, many women claimed that they had a relationship with him, which made him away from golf courses for several months, and a number of the most prominent sponsors abandoned him.
Later, Woods confessed to his wife’s betrayal in advance of his apologies, and the two parties eventually reached a settlement and a divorce was made, and the American star’s popularity has declined greatly since that incident.
In early 1992, former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson was convicted of raping 18-year-old college student Desiree Washington. Tyson – who grew up in a Brooklyn slum before making his way to fame and becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in history – was on his way to losing it all.
Tyson was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but he was released in 1995, after which he was unable to regain his former boxing brilliance.
In an interview with The Daily Beast in 2013, Tyson went back to the details of that incident saying, “I did not rape her; they wanted to convict me more than anyone else in the world. There is no person in US history who has been convicted of rape sooner than they did. With me”.
OJ Simpson trial
OJ Simpson was one of the most famous American football players in the 1970s, and worked as a commentator and actor after retirement, and Simpson’s life changed completely when he was accused of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown and his friend Ronald Goldman in 1994. Days after the bodies were found, the police tried to arrest Simpson. There was a thrilling police pursuit of 80 kilometers as he tried to escape.
By January 1995, Simpson’s trial began – which lasted 8 long months – and he obtained a verdict of acquittal of the two crimes, but the trial was repeated in 1997, and he was convicted of the two murders, and he was sentenced to pay $ 33.5 million to the families of the two victims.
Simpson lived a difficult life after the trial, which received unprecedented media attention, and in September 2007 he was arrested and charged with theft, burglary and conspiracy to commit a crime. In 2008, he was sentenced to 33 years in prison for his crimes, before he was released in October 2017 after serving only 9 years of his sentence.
An inspiring story that ends tragically
The life story of Oscar Pistorius was an inspiration in its beginning, as the South African runner was the first amputee athlete to participate in the Olympic Games, and that was in London 2012, but then things turned upside down.
In February 2013, Pistorius shot his girlfriend, Riva Stinkamp, in the bathroom, claiming that he believed an intruder had broken into the house.
He was initially sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for “premeditated murder,” but the prosecution immediately appealed, and in the end the Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa raised his sentence to 13 years and 5 months.
While participating with the US national team in the 2016 Rio Olympics, swimmer Ryan Locke – 12 Olympic medalist – claimed that he and a number of his teammates were robbed on the streets of Brazil at gunpoint when they were on their way back to their residence.
Luckti’s account turned out to be false, as surveillance cameras showed that he and his companions were drunk during that night, and had vandalized the bathroom of a gas station, before the security guards confronted them. The American swimmer was suspended for 10 months, and the Swimming Commission and the US Olympic Committee arrested the other three swimmers involved in the accident.