Sports stars to practice self-protection?


My recent posting regarding the safety of sports stars and the need for Risk Management appears to have been quite timely as USA Today followed-up with their own article on athletes and security.

It is obvious from the article that many professional NBA and NFL stars are concerned for their safety and are talking about purchasing guns and dogs to help protect themselves. While I fully understand their concern, the athletes involved need to be aware of the danger that some of these ideas may pose. For instance, the NFL has strict guidlines restricting the carrying of weapons on their property. Likewise, cities such as Washington D.C., New York, Los Angeles, all have very strict laws that make it very difficult to carry a concealed weapon if you are not a law enforcement officer.

Even if an athlete could carry a concealed weapon, there are no exceptions covering Federal Buildings, establishments that serve alochol, crossing State lines, etc. As Kelly Davis, a Chicago police officer who worked for three years as a bodyguard to NBA star Denis Rodman said; “if you feel like you need to carry a gun….you need to hire security”. A gun is not the ultimate solution to every security threat and guns in the hands of non-experts pose a serious risk factor and open the door to huge liability problems. It is much better to rely on the services of a professional Security firm for these reasons.

Some athletes, such as Torii Hunter of the Los Angeles Angels, intends to “keep a lower profile”. While this sounds fine in theory, in reality, it may be very difficult to put into practice. Sports stars, like the President of the United States, will continue to be in the public eye. It is unrealistic to believe that they will stay behind guarded walls when they are not on the field. That is why they need security professonals to “watch their backs” as they go about their lives with as little interruption as possble. The President continues to travel about the country and the world, and in so doing, is protected by highly trained professionals who spend all of their time ensuring that their Principal is safe.

Unfortunately, there appears to be an increase in violent crimes – robberies and burglaries occurring in the player’s homes these days. We agree fully with Antwan Jamison of the Washington Wizzards when he says; “you have to take precautions now as far as being at home”. Our theme of “target hardening” has never been so approporiate as it is today. The NFL league spokesman, Greg Aiello sums it up perfectly when he says; “don’t make it easy for people to target you”.

Like we have said many times before, thieves and criminals are opportunists. If they see that a home or an athlete is being protected, they will move along to the one that is without security. For those with a particular axe to grind, the security professional will advise his client on the best way to alternate routes and times of travel, using decoy vehicles, etc. We could go on, but we do not want to give away too many secrets.

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