Generally, an athlete’s career ends when they choose to retire or when they can no longer make a roster due to an influx of young talent. That said, professionals sports teams have an image to uphold. If an athlete gets arrested and faces serious criminal charges, could that end their career?
It certainly could. A prime example of this is Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice. He was just 26, with three Pro Bowl appearances, when a video emerged of a domestic violence incident with his girlfriend — who is now his wife. He was suspended by the NFL, first for a few games and then indefinitely. The Ravens ended up moving on from him, and Rice never played another snap in the NFL after the 2013 season.
This was a very telling incident, both because the video made it incredibly public and because of Rice’s age. At 26, he was considered to be in the prime of his career. The incident still ended that career. If he had been an older player, it would be easier to see a team moving on when it fit their image, even if the event wasn’t serious. But this was so serious that the Ravens ended their relationship with a star running back who was one of the faces of the franchise.
This is just one example, but it shows why it’s so important for professional athletes to understand the legal options they have when facing serious accusations. These accusations are about far more than just fines or even jail time. They can completely end a person’s career and may cost them millions of dollars as a result. A proper defense is crucial. It helps to work with an experienced legal team. That’s the best way to protect your future.