Professional athletes current victims of robberies and residential invasions

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Brian Robinson Jr.

Brian Robinson Jr.
Photograph: Getty Photographs

In rather less than three months, it is going to be the fifteenth anniversary of Sean Taylor’s demise from a house invasion in South Florida. A bodily specimen by any metric, the College of Miami and Washington NFL franchise star died from a gunshot wound at age 24.

The 6-foot-2 security, nicknamed “Meast” as a result of he was half-man, half-beast, would’ve on the very least had a protracted profession, and at finest may’ve made it to Canton. It was a tragedy that’s nonetheless onerous to consider contemplating Taylor’s borderline supernatural athleticism.

This week, one other younger professional soccer participant for the NFL staff in our nation’s capital — rookie working again Brian Robinson Jr. — was shot twice in his decrease physique throughout an armed theft try in DC. By divine intervention or unimaginable luck, the bullets missed sufficient important ligaments, bones, and every thing else that the Alabama product won’t miss the season and will even return to the sphere.

In the course of the early hours of Monday morning in Spain, now-Chelsea striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the goal of a terrifying robbery at his home outside of Barcelona that left him with a damaged jaw and his household traumatized. Fortunately, his spouse and kids had been unhurt regardless of being current for the ordeal.

Additionally on Monday, a prosecutor in Atlanta announced an indictment that detailed a spree of home invasions concentrating on celebrities and athletes within the Georgia metropolis, together with the Falcons’ Calvin Ridley and Atlanta United keeper Brad Guzan. Fulton County District Lawyer Fani Willis alleged that members of the Drug Wealthy gang scour social media for high-profile individuals who flaunt their wealth on numerous platforms after which goal them. The crimes within the indictment span from residence invasions to kidnappings to armed theft, shootings, and carjackings.

Willis did supply some recommendation for individuals who flaunt shiny, costly gadgets on Instagram, TikTok, and many others.

“I do have a message for the general public: The place it’s form of enjoyable to place your issues on social media and showcase, sadly, these gangs have gotten extra savvy, extra refined in the best way that they aim you.”

There’s been no indication that one thing related occurred within the Aubameyang incident, and it seemed like Robinson was simply going into city to seize some meals. However they’re not the one athletes this 12 months who’ve been focused as Rays shortstop Wander Franco had $650,000 worth of jewelry lifted from his car. Draymond Inexperienced had numerous valuables — more than $1 million in total — ransacked from his Los Angeles residence whereas attending the Tremendous Bowl in Los Angeles in February.

Athletes are simpler marks than nameless wealthy individuals as a result of they purposely draw giant followings (for the model) on social media, and the general public is aware of how a lot they’re getting paid.

How ought to they shield themselves?

Dan Manning, CEO of USPA Safety, an organization that gives companies like bodyguards and residential protection, advisable athletes (or anybody) seeking to shield themselves at residence and in public ought to make use of a staff of execs for his or her security and to consider the dangers of every thing from golf equipment to journey routes to eating places and past.

If somebody didn’t need a safety element, he advised they give the impression of being into the advances in know-how, even providing up an autonomous drone system. Nevertheless, he stated, “it will be extraordinarily tough to guard somebody in public with out a devoted staff.”

Manning additionally echoed Willis’ sentiments about a web-based presence. He believes a social media footprint of your valuables ought to be non-existent.

“If you’re actually involved about your self and people round you, you shouldn’t be promoting the issues individuals would need to take from you,” Manning stated in an interview.

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera, who continues to be too good of an individual for that group, wore an orange shirt throughout a information convention this week to assist gun-safety measures, which brings up the problem of gamers carrying safety themselves.

Extra weapons appear to be a foul thought, and one can’t assist however be reminded of incidents like Plaxico Burress capturing himself within the leg, Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton pulling items within the locker room, and all the athletes who’ve caught a weapons cost.

“Solely individuals who’re extremely skilled, and repeatedly practice, ought to carry firearms,” Manning stated. “Individuals with no expertise with firearms turn into a legal responsibility to these round them in the event that they select to hold one.”

Far be it for me to inform skilled athletes tips on how to spend their cash, or use social media, but it surely looks like a bodyguard or two is a worthy funding if athletes don’t need to *gasp* make their feeds personal.

With the speed at which these crimes have been coming recently, it feels prefer it’s much less a matter of if a disaster akin to Taylor’s occurs once more however moderately when. Whether or not it’s an elevated safety element, essentially the most elaborate Ring system ever created, a muted on-line presence, or holding their money in escrow (if that’s the way it works), clearly added emphasis ought to be positioned on being much less weak.

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