Pro athletes recent victims of robberies and home invasions


Brian Robinson Jr.
Photograph: Getty Pictures

In rather less than three months, it is going to be the fifteenth anniversary of Sean Taylor’s dying from a house invasion in South Florida. A bodily specimen by any metric, the College of Miami and Washington NFL franchise star died from a gunshot wound at age 24.

The 6-foot-2 security, nicknamed “Meast” as a result of he was half-man, half-beast, would’ve on the very least had a protracted profession, and at finest might’ve made it to Canton. It was a tragedy that’s nonetheless onerous to consider contemplating Taylor’s borderline supernatural athleticism.

This week, one other younger professional soccer participant for the NFL workforce in our nation’s capital — rookie operating again Brian Robinson Jr. — was shot twice in his decrease physique throughout an armed theft try in DC. By divine intervention or unimaginable luck, the bullets missed sufficient important ligaments, bones, and every thing else that the Alabama product may not miss the season and will even return to the sphere.

In the course of the early hours of Monday morning in Spain, now-Chelsea striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the goal of a terrifying robbery at his home outside of Barcelona that left him with a damaged jaw and his household traumatized. Fortunately, his spouse and kids had been unhurt regardless of being current for the ordeal.

Additionally on Monday, a prosecutor in Atlanta announced an indictment that detailed a spree of home invasions focusing on celebrities and athletes within the Georgia metropolis, together with the Falcons’ Calvin Ridley and Atlanta United keeper Brad Guzan. Fulton County District Legal professional Fani Willis alleged that members of the Drug Wealthy gang scour social media for high-profile individuals who flaunt their wealth on varied platforms after which goal them. The crimes within the indictment span from residence invasions to kidnappings to armed theft, shootings, and carjackings.

Willis did offer some advice for people who flaunt shiny, expensive items on Instagram, TikTok, etc.

“I do have a message for the public: Where it is kind of fun to put your things on social media and show off, unfortunately, these gangs are becoming more savvy, more sophisticated in the way that they target you.”

There’s been no indication that something similar happened in the Aubameyang incident, and it sounded like Robinson was just going into town to grab some food. But they’re not the only athletes this year who’ve been targeted as Rays shortstop Wander Franco had $650,000 price of bijou lifted from his automotive. Draymond Inexperienced had a lot of valuables — more than $1 million in total — ransacked from his Los Angeles residence whereas attending the Tremendous Bowl in Los Angeles in February.

Athletes are simpler marks than nameless wealthy individuals as a result of they purposely draw massive followings (for the model) on social media, and the general public is aware of how a lot they’re getting paid.

How ought to they shield themselves?

Dan Manning, CEO of USPA Safety, an organization that gives providers like bodyguards and residential protection, really useful athletes (or anybody) trying to shield themselves at residence and in public ought to make use of a workforce of pros for his or her security and to take note of the dangers of every thing from golf equipment to journey routes to eating places and past.

If somebody didn’t desire a safety element, he advised they give the impression of being into the advances in know-how, even providing up an autonomous drone system. Nevertheless, he stated, “it could be extraordinarily tough to guard somebody in public with no devoted workforce.”

Manning additionally echoed Willis’ sentiments about a web-based presence. He believes a social media footprint of your valuables needs to be non-existent.

“If you’re actually involved about your self and people round you, you shouldn’t be promoting the issues individuals would wish to take from you,” Manning stated in an interview.

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera, who continues to be too good of an individual for that group, wore an orange shirt throughout a information convention this week to assist gun-safety measures, which brings up the problem of gamers carrying safety themselves.

Extra weapons appear to be a foul concept, and one can’t assist however be reminded of incidents like Plaxico Burress capturing himself within the leg, Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton pulling items within the locker room, and the entire athletes who’ve caught a weapons cost.

“Solely individuals who’re extremely skilled, and constantly practice, ought to carry firearms,” Manning stated. “Individuals with no expertise with firearms change into a legal responsibility to these round them in the event that they select to hold one.”

Far be it for me to inform skilled athletes the best way to spend their cash, or use social media, but it surely looks as if a bodyguard or two is a worthy funding if athletes don’t wish to *gasp* make their feeds non-public.

With the speed at which these crimes have been coming recently, it feels prefer it’s much less a matter of if a disaster akin to Taylor’s occurs once more however somewhat when. Whether or not it’s an elevated safety element, probably the most elaborate Ring system ever created, a muted on-line presence, or retaining their money in escrow (if that’s the way it works), clearly added emphasis needs to be positioned on being much less weak.

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