Athletes In Hot Water With Courts

Recently, the news has certainlybeen bombarded with news of Iraq, Osama Bin Laden, and the BushAdministration; however, the dark cloud over sports has taken someof the prime time spotlight as well.

Currently, former NBA star JaysonWilliams and present NBA star Kobe Bryant, have been sharing thelimelight in court. Bryant is on trial for the alleged rape of a19-year-old woman in Eagle Rock, Col. in June. Williams, on theother hand, is charged in the February 2002 shooting death of alimousine driver at his home.  If convicted, both basketballstarts face life in prison.

Bryant’s accuser has asked thejudge to expedite the hearing claiming, “she has been forcedto quit school, she cannot live at home, she cannot talk to herfriends, and she has received literally hundreds of phone calls ande-mails threatening either death or mutilation.”  Notrial date has been set and pretrial hearings are scheduled wellinto May.  Three men have already been arrested for allegedlymaking death threats against the young woman. Her name and picturesof her have also been plastered across the Internet and supermarkettabloids.

American University College of Law student, Zachary Howard,questions Bryant’s judgment as he watched the caseunfold.

“All I know is that he wasn’tthinking. If I had come into the league paid as a rookie, with abeautiful wife and a baby daughter, there’s no way I’d messanything up on the court or at home,” said Howard.

Meanwhile, in Somerville, NewJersey, the defense in the manslaughter trial of JaysonWilliamsrested Wednesday, March 30 after Williams refusedto take the stand. The defense has attempted to show that Williamswas unaware that the victim, driver Costas Christofi, was in thebedroom with him while he was giving a tour to friends and membersof the Harlem Globetrotters.  The defense stresses thatWilliams picked up a shotgun, snapped it shut, and it fired,killing Christofi.

With the trial in its eighth week, Williams is facing eightcharges, the most serious being aggravated manslaughter. He is alsobeing charged with attempting to make the shooting look like asuicide and persuading others to lie about it.

According to a Washington Postarticle, Williams told Superior Court Judge Edward M. Coleman,”I am innocent. I put my trust in God and I have greatconfidence in this jury.”
Howard University junior marketing major Heather Scott isdisappointed that so many
Black athletes are on trial for such brutal crimes.

“With somuch going on in the world right now, many of us found solace inthe world of sports. Now, captions about these trials are runningat the bottom of the screen while I’m trying to watch a game!”said Scott.