LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Just weeks after his first NFL game, a former Long Beach high school football star who spent five years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit was cut Friday by the Atlanta Falcons.
Brian Banks, 28, was released by the team – which must trim its roster to 53 players by Saturday – following a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night.
Banks, who signed with the team in April and played in his first-ever NFL game on Aug. 8, told reporters he was grateful that his mother was even able to be on the field during pregame warm-ups.
“She never had that experience before, so she was a little choked up not really knowing what to expect,” Banks said. “But just to have her here, have her in town and get her onto the field and take pictures with her and just show her a little bit of what I’ve been up to the last few months is more than I could ask for.”
Despite the team’s decision, Falcons owner Arthur Blank was so impressed with him that he may try to find him a job with the team — possibly in a community relations capacity or even on the team’s practice squad, according to Fox Sports.
The 6-foot-2, 250-pound linebacker was exonerated last May after a judge in Long Beach agreed to throw out his 2003 conviction for forcible rape involving a girl on the campus of Long Beach Polytechnic High School a year earlier.
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