While it is not unprecedented for a celebrity athlete to face criminal charges, such arrests nevertheless spark plenty of headlines and speculation.
According to recent reports, NFL player Marshon Lattimore was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of possessing a stolen firearm.
Accusations against him
A standout player for the New Orleans Saints, he was apprehended on Thursday night by a gang task force in Ohio along with three other men, all of whom are facing gun-related charges.
His arrest reportedly stemmed from a traffic stop for a broken taillight, which evolved into an extended police search when officers spotted a gun in the vehicle.
Police later determined that Lattimore was also carrying a firearm and he was booked by investigators into the Cuyahoga County Jail.
The gun he was carrying was reported stolen in Euclid, Ohio, according to police reports. Adding to the severity of the situation, officers allege that he was not properly licensed to carry a concealed weapon.
Another individual in the vehicle was arrested on suspicion of improperly handling a firearm and the other two suspects are facing charges related to being felons in possession of a firearm.
Lattimore is a three-time Pro Bowl player and was named 2017 NFL defensive rookie of the year. Prior to being drafted to the Saints, he was a star player at Glenville High School in Ohio and later at Ohio State University.
According to his attorney, the arrest amounted to nothing more than a “misunderstanding,” though it was unclear from Marcus Sidoti’s initial statement what the specific defense argument will entail.
The NFL player, who signed a four-year contract worth more than $15 million, now faces an uncertain future, as attorney Chris Dunnells, who is also a sportswriter for the Saints, explained.
If convicted, Lattimore could face a minimum of six months behind bars for a fourth-degree felony charge. Furthermore, Dunnells noted that he could face punishment by the NFL, including a multi-game suspension at the start of the upcoming season.
Of course, he is only accused of a crime at this point, but the situation is sure to provide a lesson of some sort for the young athlete. Hopefully, he will recognize the importance of avoiding individuals and environments that could spell the end of a lucrative career.