Phillip Adams made his name playing in the NFL for a number of teams including the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets. However, he will be forever remembered now for his role in the deaths of five people in South Carolina on April 8.
Adams shot the victims and the following day committed suicide. We’ll never know just why he did this, but repeated head injuries could have been a cause. That was also alleged in the case of wrestler Chris Benoit who killed his wife and child before committing suicide.
Adams is by far not the only NFL player to have legal problems. Here’s just two (with a quick mention of a certain OJ Simpson) who had their fair share of controversy.
Tank Johnson of the Chicago Bears had several legal problems. 2005 saw him arrested for possession of a handgun. He was given 18 months probation but just three months later was in trouble again. This time he ended up being maced after allegedly putting up a struggle in an argument over a parking ticket. The charges were eventually dropped but were more bad publicity for the player.
December 2006 saw more problems and it led to him being dropped for a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Johnson was busy practicing for that match while his house was being searched for firearms. He wasn’t that popular either with a toilet seat with an undisclosed message of harassment on it. The following year saw him receive a 120-day jail sentence for violating his probation.
When released in May 2007, the NFL suspended him for the first half of the next season. The following month he was stopped by police for speeding. That was the final straw for the Bears who released him from his contract three days later.
The name of Ray Lewis will be very familiar to fans of the Baltimore Ravens. The linebacker spent his entire 17-year NFL career with them retiring at the end of the 2012 season. He had a great career, but he is also remembered for what happened at a Super Bowl XXXIV after party.
He’d gone to Atlanta to help celebrate with the winners, the St Louis Rams. A fight broke out and two people were stabbed to death. Lewis and two of his friends were indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges. While OJ Simpson is famous for his black glove, no one knows where the white suit Lewis was wearing that night ended up.
The NFL star ended up testifying against his friends in return for the murder charge being dismissed. He admitted to making a misleading statement to the police and made a guilty plea to obstructing justice. Lewis was given a sentence of 12 months probation. Not happy at all of this, the NFL fined Lewis $250,000.
He still went on to have a successful career though and in 2001 and 2013, he won the Super Bowl with the Ravens. Thankfully for him, both after-parties were peaceful affairs.