Forgotten Athletes Who Are Languishing In Jail

Athletes have a wide potential of breaking the law and some athletes like other big celebrities have done so. While some might have escaped with various crimes, there are still many athletes who the law caught up with; got hooked and their names dumped in the bins. Maybe, when you have half of your needs readily available, shower in expensive bathrooms, sleep on a luxury mattress, wear just about every designer’s work, it’s easy to feel unbeatable.

However, not for these big names in sports. Many of them are suffering because of their careless actions. We are not sure if they have repented from their sadistic acts of crime but we know they clearly don’t like the idea of being forgotten in jail.

Jailed Athletes You Have Forgotten About

Brandon Browner

  • Jailed in 2018
  • Prison time – 8 years

Jailed Athletes

Browner is not the one to forget anytime soon. He has two Super Bowls to his name and a Pro Bowl among other accolades in his NFL career that ran from 2006 to 2016.

The unceremonious exit of Brandon from football was no thanks to his life of crime. He was arrested in 2017 for being under the influence and possession of cocaine. In 2018, he got arrested again for breaking into the home of a woman he was once in a relationship with. The former Seattle Seahawks man was charged with attempted murder and three other felonies for which he pleaded not guilty. By December 2018, he was handed a jail term of 8 years.

Sally McNeil

  • Jailed in 1996
  • Prison time – 19 years to life 
  • Next parole – year 2022

Sally McNeil


She may not be as famous as many other jailed athletes on the list, but she also earns her place being the only female athlete on the list and one of those that have spent many years in jail. Popular as Killer McNeil, Sally is a former professional American bodybuilder who was born in 1960.

A 2-time winner of the U.S. Armed Services Physique Championship, she landed in prison in 1996 after she was found guilty of killing her husband Ray McNeil who was also a bodybuilder. She was first sentenced to 19 years to life before the conviction was later overruled. By March 2005, she would find her conviction thrown back at her.

Sally will be eligible for her next parole when she is 61 in 2022 after her previous parole was denied in 2019.

Javaris Crittenton

  • Jailed on 29 April 2015
  • Prison time – 23 years

Crittenton had the world where anyone would want it to be; he was an NBA player who had played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Wizards, and Dakota Wizard. Unfortunately, less than five years into his career, he was arrested for shooting a 22-year-old mother of four, Jullian Jones who later died during surgery. Jones was believed to have only been caught in between, as the target was someone else that robbed him.

The former NBA player denied any involvement in the murder when he was first arrested but was later indicted for the crime in 2013. Investigations also revealed he was involved in the shooting of Demontinez Stephens who was allegedly among the men that robbed Crittenton.

In April 2015, Javaris was slapped with a jail term of 23 years for voluntary manslaughter with a weapon and aggravated assault to which he pleaded guilty.

Sam Hurd

  • Jailed on 13th November 2013
  • Prison time – 15 years

Ex-Bear Sam Hurd was not the most loved by the police. The former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League for six seasons was seen as “a wannabe drug lord.”

He started his career in 2006, and anyone would have placed money on him to have a good NFL career, even if not a great one, but he refused to leave the life of crime which forced him to end his career rather prematurely in 2011.

In December 2011 he was arrested on drug-related charges after he only signed a deal with the Chicago Bears in July of the same year. Following a rather lengthy trial that would include a plea bargain, violating his bond, and later a guilty plea, he landed himself a 15-years jail term in November 2013.

Oscar Pistorius

  • Jailed on 21st October 2014
  • Prison time – 15 years (13 years and five months left)
  • Next parole – 2023

Oscar Pistorius

There was a time when the whole world stood in awe of Oscar Pistorius. The South African athlete was an inspiration to people all over the world, but everything changed for him on Valentine’s day of 2013 when he murdered his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

According to him, he shot her to death after he mistook her for a home invader but his history of violence against women and other evidence proved otherwise. He is now serving 13 years behind bars after he was found guilty of murder. He will be eligible for parole in 2023.

Eddie Johnson

  • Jailed in 2008
  • Prison time – life sentence without parole

Eddie Johnson

Not many people would remember Fast Eddie, but he was a professional basketball star who played in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks. In his 10 seasons in the NBA, he made the NBA All-Star twice as well as the NBA All-Defensive Second Team.

Unfortunately, his career was overshadowed by a litany of convictions for various crimes that included crimes as little as shoplifting to others as massive as an assault on a police officer. In 2006, he was arrested for child molestation at a time when there were still charges of rape against him. In 2008, he kissed freedom goodbye as he got a life sentence without parole for sexual battery of a minor under 12 among other things.

Chad Curtis

  • Jailed in 2013
  • Prison time – 7 to 15 years
  • Next parole – 13th September 2020

Jailed athletes

Among jailed athletes you must have probably forgotten is former MLB player, Chad Curtis. He is a 2-time world series champion whose career ran from 1992 to 2001. He played for teams including the California Angels where he began his career and the Texas Rangers where the curtains were drawn on his career.

Curtis would later take a job at Lakewood High School where he taught and coached the equestrian team. In 2012, he was accused of “inappropriate touching” by students, forcing him to resign. In his trial in August of 2013, five underage girls took the stand against him and he was found guilty of third-degree criminal sexual conduct amongst other things, although he insisted the girls lied against him.

He is currently spending his time of 7 to 15 years behind bars and will be eligible for parole in September 2020.

Tommy Kane

  • Jailed in November 2003
  • Prison time – 18 years
  • Next parole – 13th September 2020

Jailed athletes

Kane came a long way in his life of crime before he finally landed behind bars. As far back as 1988 the former NFL star’s path first crossed with the law when he got arrested for assaulting a police officer. Many years later in 2003, he beat and stabbed his ex-wife, Tammara Shaikh. Se died afterward. Kane was given an 18-year jail term for second-degree murder.

Other Famous Athletes Who Served Time In Prison

More than the athletes who are still behind bars, there are many others who have regained their freedom. Here is a list of some that are very popular:

1. O. J. Simpson: A retired NFL star, Simpson was handed a jail term of 9 to 33 years for robbery and kidnapping, but having spent close to 9 years, he was released on parole on October 1, 2017.

2. Billy Cannon: He is one person who still remains special in the football world even after his death. Cannon was arrested and jailed for counterfeiting in 1983 after he retired from the sport. He served half of his five years before he was released. He has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

3. Floyd Mayweather Jr.: Your favorite boxer, Mayweather has had a history of domestic abuse. In 2012, he served a 90-day jail term for misdemeanor battery involving his former girlfriend, Josie Harris.

4. Rae Carruth: He is a former professional American football player, a big receiver for the Carolina Panthers of the NFL. He wore the blue and black jersey of the Carolina Panthers for two years before being netted into a brutal murder case. He was found guilty of plotting to have a woman with his child killed. Having served 18 of his 18 to 22 years behind bars, he gained freedom on October 22, 2018.

5. Keon Clark: Arian Keon Clark is one of the jailed athletes who have regained their freedom. The defensive stopper was found guilty of driving under influence and weapon crimes. He was released from prison in 2017 after serving only four of his seven years.

Amira Daniel
Amira is a personal finance and entertainment writer by trade with several years of experience covering businesses, CEOs, and celebrity profiles, her favourite subjects include business and personal finance, entertainment, celebrities, and travel. When she's not writing, you can find her reading or catching up on any of her favourite series


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