Friday, August 9, 2013

Brian Banks makes NFL debut after false rape conviction

Brian Banks played in his first NFL game Thursday night for the Atlanta Falcons after a remarkable and improbable journey from being wrongly accused of rape, a five-year stint in prison and fighting to finally realize his dream of playing for an NFL team.

After signing earlier in the off-season with the Falcons, Banks — whose football career was derailed more than a decade ago by the false accusations of rape and kidnapping in 2002 — made his long-awaited debut when he entered the Bengals-Falcons preseason contest in the fourth quarter at middle linebacker and made two tackles.

Before the game, the 28-year-old rookie couldn't contain his thoughts — and who can blame him — on his Twitter account.

After the game, Banks was just as enthusiastic.

"It was out of control," he said. "Just running out there, the flames, the cheers and the crowd, it was emotional, it really was. I wasn't nervous at all. I wasn't over-excited or anything, but just running out of that tunnel, I mean, the adrenaline that comes with that is just indescribable.

"It's better than any roller-coaster ride you can ever get on."

Banks' story became widely known after the convictions were overturned. He was a standout California high school player and a recruit at USC before his legal troubles arose. He took a plea deal of six years in prison rather than risk facing a potential 41-year sentence. He served five years and spent another five on probation, labeled a sex offender.

His whole life was turned upside down and put on hold from 2002 until the victim recanted her claims last year.  Banks was given several tryouts from NFL teams this spring, including the Seattle Seahawks, whose head coach Pete Carroll was the one who recruited him at USC.

It’s not the first time he has played football since high school.  Last year, Banks signed with the now-defunct UFL’s Las Vegas Locomotives. He made it to the field before the league pulled the plug.

The next goal will be to make it to the 53-man roster.  That may be too much to expect, but there’s a chance Banks will get a chance to continue developing his skills on the Atlanta practice squad.

Either way, it's a great start. You can't help but root for this guy.



  1. I wonder if his "false accuser" will do any time.

    1. She is actually being sued by the school district for suing them first.
      She now owes over a million dollars if I'm correct.

    2. She's a woman. She doesn't have to, since we make excuses for them not to be accountable in our society =)

    3. She SHOULD do DOUBLE the time he did! !

      Biach !

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