SHOCKING: Black Incredible Athletes You Forgot Are Currently In Jail
Ade, son of Ade
July. 13, 2020
It's a hard fall from the glories of the sporting world to the terrifying and often demeaning world of prison. Athletes like the following were at the pinnacle of their respective sports, but after a few bad decisions, are now serving hard time. It's going to be a long time before any of these people can walk the streets and sign autographs, and some never will again.
Mell Hall started playing pro ball for the Cubbies in 1981 and enjoyed a successful first full season in 1983, where he batted a respectable .283, smacked 17 homers, drove in 56 runs, and finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting. He then played for the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees before heading to Japan to play ball on a two-year, $4 million deal. When it was all said and done, Hall had a very respectable baseball career as an above-average left-fielder.
Unfortunately, he wasn't done making headlines. In 2009, Hall was convicted of three counts of aggravated s£xual assault and two counts of indecency with a child after raping a 12-year-old girl who played on the youth basketball team he coached. A jury found him guilty, and Hall was sentenced to 40 years in prison, with the need to serve 22.5 years before becoming eligible for parole. Defense attorney Brady Wyatt didn't agree with the call, stating "For all the good this man has done in his life, it seems like this was an excessive verdict."
That's right! Playing professional games and mentoring other athletes is really more worthwhile than keeping a child rapist in prison a little longer. Multiple individuals testified against the former baseball player, claiming that — in addition to his rape charge — he often acted inappropriately and had even lived with a 15-year-old girlfriend for several years, according to SB Nation. Hall is currently locked up in a Texas prison and won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
One of the most high-profile professional athletes currently serving time is former broadcaster and five-time Pro Bowl NFL safety Darren Sharper. A member of the NFL's 2000s All Decade Team, Sharper enjoyed a highly successful collegiate and professional career. After retiring from the game, Sharper took on new activities, including working as an analyst for NFL Network and, unfortunately, the serial drugging and raping of "as many as 16 women in four states."
In August 2016, Sharper pleaded guilty or no contest in federal court and in four different state courts. A 15-page statement signed as part of the former Pro Bowler's plea deal states he or a former cop, Brandon Licciardi, would drug women with sedatives or anti-anxiety medication so Sharper could rape them. Sharper received a light sentence of 20 years by a Louisiana state judge after being sentenced to more than 18 years by a federal judge. Unbelievably, the high-profile athlete's multi-jurisdictional plea deal previously only called for nine years of incarceration — that was ultimately recognized as atrociously light.
Sharper is serving his time under federal custody, with some people, like Sports Illustrated's Peter King, arguing he should still be in the Hall of Fame — because football achievements trump being a serial rapist, apparently.
An LA native, Henley was a star cornerback at UCLA, where he was a consensus All American in 1988. He turned pro in 1989, drafted by the Los Angeles Rams, for whom he was defensive Rookie of the Year. He was in the starting lineup for six years and in December 1994 took the field for the Rams' last California home game before the team moved to St. Louis.
That would also turn out to be Henley's last pro game. In 1995, Henley was one of four defendants convicted in a cocaine trafficking case — Henley claimed only to have financed the criminal doings of a childhood friend. While in jail awaiting sentencing, he convinced a guard to smuggle him a cell phone. (It wasn't easy in 1995; cell phones were huge.) Henley used that phone to conduct business, like hiring a hit man to kill the judge who presided over his trial and a Rams cheerleader who had testified against him. This, for the record, is not how you show the world you're merely an innocent money man.
Ultimately, neither hit came through: federal agents had secretly tape-recorded Henley in his cell talking about the $100,000 hit jobs. In summer 1996, Henley stood trial for 13 new charges — as part of a plea deal, he admitted guilt to two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and one count of bribing a guard. The other ten charges were dropped, but Henley still got a long prison sentence: 41 years, with no chance of parole. That's not much of a "plea," considering he won't get out until he's 70, but it's better than the alternative of getting out to be buried.
Before sports, Clifford Etienne was basically a dumb high school kid, who held up some customers at a shopping mall, mostly because. Though 17, Etienne was tried as an adult and received a 40-year sentence. While behind bars, Etienne took up boxing and notched a 30-0 record, en route to becoming the champion of the Louisiana state prison's boxing circuit. (Yes, really.)
With good behavior, Etienne's sentence was cut way down to 10 years, and he immediately went pro upon his 1998 parole. Etienne quickly rose through the boxing ranks, winning 19 of his first 20 fights and compiling a 24-1-1 record by 2003. His status as a rising star was tarnished somewhat in 2003, however, after Mike Tyson proved tougher than his video game counterpart, knocking out Etienne just 49 seconds into the first round of their heavily publicized bout.
Etienne continued boxing but was soon back to his old criminal ways. In August 2005, Etienne broke into a check-cashing place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and stole $1,900. To get away, he tried to steal a car with two kids inside. When that didn't work, he stole another car ... which also had two children inside. He didn't get far before he wrecked this one, police caught up to him, and he fired a malfunctioning gun.
He didn't give his lawyers much to work with: they argued that Etienne was so high on drugs he wasn't aware of his actions and that he'd suffered brain damage from his boxing. The excuses didn't work, and the whole endangering kids thing didn't help. In 2006, Etienne was sentenced to more than 150 years in prison, although in 2013 it was reduced to a mere 105 years behind bars, the lucky duck. He reportedly spends most of his time these days painting. One of his pieces even hangs in a New Orleans police precinct. Watch the video below to the end to learn more, and share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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