The scandal surrounding former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice and the video showing him assaulting his then-fiance in an elevator is far from over. After his dismissal from the team and the NFL’s indefinite ban, it is unknown if Rice will ever play in the league again. One thing is certain, however: Ray Rice’s career will never be the same.
Rice is hardly the first athlete to derail his career by poor choices and legal trouble, however.READ MORE: 4 Arrests Made In Connection With Lakewood Flash Mob Burglary Of Home Depot
We take a look at five other athletes whose careers were wrecked by trouble with the law.
5.) Mike Danton, New Jersey Devils
A center for the New Jersey Devils and the St. Louis Blues from 2000 to 2004, Mike Danton found himself in trouble after hiring a hit man to murder his agent, David Frost. Frost had increasingly got on Danton’s nerves, successfully urging the hockey player to estrange himself from his parents and change his name. There was even a report that Frost had encouraged a group of hockey players to beat up Danton’s brother. On July 16, 2004, Danton is said to have hired a police dispatcher to do the job. However, after his arrest, Frost, who was rumored to possibly be in a relationship with his client, urged Danton to plead guilty. Danton did just that and was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder. He was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison.
4.) Michael Vick, Atlanta Falcons
Once one of the most exciting players in the NFL, Michael Vick saw his public image and popularity crash faster than he could have imagined when he was accused of taking part in dog-fighting operations, including dog executions, on his own property. Having played quarterback for the Falcons from 2001 to 2006, Vick instantly became one of the most notoriously unpopular athletes in modern sports. Similar to Ray Rice, Vick was released and was suspended indefinitely by Commissioner Roger Goodell. Vick served 23 months in prison, and in 2009, signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he spent four seasons. While he clearly still had skill upon his return, his popularity never quite reached the level it once held.
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3.) Maurice Clarett, Ohio State Football
Having led the Buckeyes to an incredible national championship over heavily favored Miami, freshman running back Maurice Clarett had before him a potentially golden collegiate career, which by all means would precede big doors opening professionally. This was not to be the case. After a suspension from Ohio State in his sophomore year, Clarett unsuccessfully sued the NFL to enter the 2004 NFL draft. After his eventual eligibility, he was picked in the fourth round by the Denver Broncos. However, it was suspected that he often showed up drunk to practice, and he never earned a spot on the roster. The year 2006 would be a rough one for Clarett legally, as he robbed two people at gunpoint in January outside an Ohio nightclub. Then, in August, Clarett was involved in a police pursuit after a traffic violation. After the pursuit, police found an assault rifle, a sword, a pair of loaded handguns and an open bottle of vodka in his vehicle.
2.) Pete Rose, Cincinnati Reds
In 1986, Pete Rose retired as a player from the majors as the all-time leader in hits. By 1989, as a manager, rumors began to circulate that he was gambling on baseball. The time after 1989 was filled with denials and ended with Rose on baseball’s ineligible list. He was denied an attempt to be reinstated into baseball by Commissioner Bud Selig in 1997. In 2004, Rose eventually admitted to gambling in his book, “My Prison Without Bars.” In an interview, he claimed that he only ever bet on his team. While he was never actually convicted of a crime when it came to gambling, he remains on baseball’s ineligible list.
1.) O.J. Simpson, Buffalo Bills
O.J.’s story needs little reminder. After receiving a verdict of not guilty in the 1994 trial of the century in the murders of his wife and her friend, Ron Goldman, Simpson found himself a free man. That was until October 2008, when the former Heisman Trophy winner was convicted of robbery, kidnapping, coercion and conspiracy, and sentenced to up to 33 years in state prison. One of the interesting aspects of Simpson’s presence on this list, is that, by the time of the murders, the Bronco chase, and the subsequent high-profile trial in 1994, O.J.’s playing career was, by all accounts, over. Whereas Pete Rose stayed in the game in a managerial role, Simpson was still in the spotlight, but by taking Hollywood roles in films such as “The Naked Gun” and a number of television roles. While the events of 1994 resulted in producers not wanting anything to do with him, his 2008 conviction made certain that they never would again.MORE NEWS: Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton Artistic Director And Off-White Founder, Dies Of Cancer At 41