Even the biggest sports stars can commit crimes and break the law. From smaller offenses like an assault to the most serious one, murder, we can find athletes from all kinds of sports in the list. Boxers to NFL players, football players to sprinters, they all passed a line they shouldn’t. Even though they had money, fame, and fortune, their bad nature caused them trouble. These are the most famous sports stars in jail.
Brazil football player Ronaldinho has been arrested in Paraguay last week after he tried to enter the country with a fake passport. He is currently in jail after a judge refused a request for home arrest. He is likely to get away though without tough consequences, not like the athletes below who all have served or still been serving long jail sentences.
Sports stars in jail for murder
Of course, the biggest crime someone can commit is to kill another person, either on purpose or accidentally. Later was the defense of Oscar Pistorius, the winner at the 2004 and 2012 Paralympics at 400m. But in the following year, he was arrested for the shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius said that he shot her after he mistook Reeva for an intruder. On the first trial, he was only found guilty of manslaughter. But after he was released to home arrest, an appeal trial convicted him of murder. He was sentenced to 13 years in jail which he is currently serving.
What the following NFL player, Rae Carruth has done was even worse. He asked his associate to shot at his pregnant girlfriend and he was assisting in the murder by stopping her car. Her girlfriend died but the doctors managed to save her child, who was sadly born with brain damage. Carruth spent 18 years in prison for conspiracy of murder and got out in 2018. He committed this crime only at the age of 25, when he had a great future and sports career ahead of him as a player of Carolina Panthers as online sportsbooks in the US were also reporting.
One of the most famous sports stars in jail
O. J. Simpson was already famous thanks to his NFL and film star careers when he went for trial for the murder of his ex-wife and her friend in 1994. Everyone was watching it on the TV all over the world, just as his capture by the police after a car chase. Controversially he was found not guilty by a criminal court but was found responsible for the deaths by a civil court. Simpson couldn’t escape jail in 2007 though after robbing a sports memorabilia collector. He was sentenced for 9 years and was released in 2017.
OJ might have been world-famous due to his trials, but actually he was a great NFL player all before this, playing for Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers. He won the NFL rushing title four times, and he still holds the record for the single-season yards-per-game average. As a film star, he appeared in The Naked Gun movies and in several TV series. Hopefully, he can stay out of trouble and jail now. If you’re a fan of the NFL and would like to focus on the sport, you can already make a bet for next season’s winner at Unibet.
Football players behind the bar
Not just American football players became criminals but European football players as well. Like Arsenal player Peter Storey, who started his dark life after his career ended. He drank a lot and got friendly with gangsters. He even helped them to counterfeit money, which he was convicted for and sentenced to three years in jail in 1979.
Some players were famous for their aggressive behaviors on and off the pitch. Joey Barton is a great example of them after he was convicted twice on charges of violence. The former Manchester City player first was sentenced for six months in prison, after seriously assaulting a man in Liverpool city center in 2008. He also got another suspended sentence for assaulting his former teammate, Ousmane Dabo. He didn’t change too much after his prison time and continued to behave violently on the pitch against his opponents and his own teammates.
The most recent scandal involving a Premier League football player was the allegation against Sunderland player Adam Johnson. He was found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child and sentenced for six years. He was released after half of his sentence, still his career seems to be over now. His former club is not doing too great either. Sunderland only plays in League One, where they are currently in 7th place. Their odds to finish on top this season is 31.00 at Unibet Sportsbook.
The heavy guys
Boxers have a bad reputation for being aggressive and violent. It might not be true for everyone, but some of the biggest boxers did commit assaults and other crimes. Floyd Mayweather Jr spent only two months in jail for domestic assault but his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr was there for four years. He was apparently a drug dealer, who was caught transporting cocaine. Luckily his son only followed his path in boxing and not in the criminal life. Mayweather’s next game can be against Manny Pacquiao, his odds are 1.44 at Unibet Sportsbook to win the fight.
Mike Tyson was arrested and convicted of the rape of an 18-year old girl in 1992. He served three years in prison. Before his sentence, he won the heavyweight title at the age of only 20. He managed to defend it 9 times, but he lost it in 1990. But Tyson won it back after his jail time in 1996, which is truly remarkable. He only retired 10 years later, as one of the best heavyweight boxers in history.
Doping and drugs
Doping and illegal betting can be other reasons for getting sports stars in jail. Tim Montgomery was an Olympic and World Champion sprinter with the 4x100m US relay team in 2000. But his glory didn’t take long after he was caught using steroids. Just as his girlfriend of the time, Marion Jones, who was sentenced to six months. But for Montgomery, it got even worse after. As he was dealing with drugs and took part in a check fraud scheme. In 2008 he was sentenced to five plus four years in prison. But after serving four and a half years he was released. Montgomery is settled now with a family and coaching young athletes.
Betting on your own games can also get you to jail. As it happened with a former NFL player Art Schlichter. He was a big promise at the end of the 1970s, playing for Baltimore Colts. But he was suspended in 1983 for his gambling habit and couldn’t get rid of it after either. Schlicter was in and out of jail for almost 10 years. Don’t follow his sample if you’re a professional player. But if you’re only a sports fan, go ahead and make a bet on any of the online gambling sites in the US or anywhere else.