Plaxico Burress Goes to Jail

In USA Today’s “The Huddle”, Sean Leahy writes about Plaxico Burress pleading guilty and receiving a 2 year jail term today.

Readers may recall that Burress shot himself accidentally in a Manhattan night club earlier this year.

I was talking to Washington Redskin, Chris Horton, about the Burress case today at the Quarterback Club. Ric “Doc” Walker was jokingly singling out some of the Redskins who may need Executive Protection as they had previously played for other NFL teams.

As I was explaining to Chris, your personal safety and safeguarding your livelihood and future is a serious matter. Plaxico sure won’t be living the high life sitting in a jail cell or being given a jail job making $0.47 an hour in the laundry room.

The saddest part about the unfortunate incident is that it could have easily been avoided altogether. If an NFL or NBA or NHL star feels that their life is being threatened to the point where carrying a firearm is necessary – then hire a professional security firm who will provide a Licensed Personal Protection Agent.

Not only are they licensed to carry a firearm – they are TRAINED. They will not shoot themselves or the client in the feet like Plaxico. If they have to fire their weapon (extremely rare for this to ever happen), then they will be the ones making the report and answering the questions.

Think Liability. Someone who carries a gun illegally is breaking the law and if caught, will be treated as a criminal. Plaxico’s attorney complained that his client was treated more harshly because he was a celebrity.

Guess what? That’s all the more reason to hire a professional Protector. Make sure that everything is above board and being a celebrity will not be a problem.

These guys need to invest in their personal security. What more important investment is out there?

Is Michael Vick in the NFL Doghouse?

The Bleacherreport describes Michael Vick as the “disgraced former football superstar”. Vick finished his house arrest sentence 48 hours ago and had his ankle bracelet removed. The shackles may be gone, but it does not mean his problems are.

It is just about impossible for any reasonable person to be able to begin to understand the ex-Falcon. Without getting into the animal torture that landed him in prison in the first place, how is it possible that someone who was capable of signing a $120 million contract can now be bankrupt?

Most of us in our wildest dreams could not even contemplate how to spend a portion of that amount in a couple of years, let alone the whole enchilada. Wouldn’t it seem as if some type of financial or business manager might be a worthwhile investment? One thing is for sure, the homeboys/posse are not giving sage advice.

Falling from Grace is not restricted to rich athletes however. We tell our graduates and agents all the time that they have to keep their feet grounded. Once you disregard your values and forsake your sense of ethics, you open the door to disgrace like Michael Vick.

Which would you rather; to be strong and trustworthy with a highly respected reputation or a disgraced ex-con scrambling for another shot? Seems like an easy choice to me.

Bodyguards and Bullets in Costa Rica.

If you are thinking of hiring Personal Protection Agents while visiting Costa Rica, be careful not to hire trigger-happy gunslingers.

A recent story in the Sports Examiner of the marriage between NFL Quarterback, Tom Brady and Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, highlights how their recent ceremony nearly ended in disaster.

According to a couple of photographers (who claim to have had Brady’s permission to take the photos), the bodyguards opened fire on their vehicle as they were leaving the wedding. The Examiner shows a picture of the alleged vehicle complete (or incomplete) with a blasted out window.

When hiring an individual or team for protection, it is always best to go through a known contact. This is even to be recommended in the U.S., but it is imperative for travel overseas.

Most of the smaller “one person”, or part-time companies will not have a large list of overseas contacts, but the companies who specialize in Executive Protection will have trusted contacts in different cities and countries around the world.

Why take a chance on unknown individuals in a country where training and licensing may be suspect or non-existent? Make the arrangements before you travel and that way you have more chance of accountability.

50% of NFL players might own guns, but how many are carrying them around?

It was interesting to read this article by the Houston Chronicle, which began with the recent Plaxico Burress case.

Fortunately, it would seem that most people realize that Burress’ idiotic act is not something that can be condoned. Hopefully Mr. Burress is not expecting any sympathy for his stupidity. There’s not really any other way to call an act that involved; a)being stupid enough to shoot himself, b)carrying a gun into a bar and c)carrying a gun in the FIRST PLACE in one of the most restricted cities in the U.S.A. for gun possession.

Fortunately for the vistors to that establishment, no innocent bystander was shot. The article talks about NFL players being targets of opportunity because of their fame and wealth and the fact that some have been held at gunpoint in their homes.

That is no reason to break the law. Many of the professional athletes quoted in the article appear to favor being armed. My question to them is why? I would ask the same thing from the owner of the Texans, Bob McNair who states that while his team discourages players from carrying guns, they do provide players with instructions should they chose to do so.

I hope Mr. McNair’s strange policy works for him but I think he is leaving himself wide open for future legal action sould one of his players accidently shoot or kill an innocent person because “they had been provided with instruction” and thereby given the green light by the team itself.

Folks, it’s called; “Hiring Security”. It is understandable if you feel threatened. It is understandable that you are a target. It is fortunate that when you earn tens of millions of dollars, you can afford to hire a professional to keep you safe. A professional who does this for a living and will not embarrass you on the evening news for shooting themselves.

The very fact that Plaxico Burress did what he did shows that he should never have had a gun – even if it had been legal for him to do so. I wonder what “instruction” he had received regarding it’s use?

My message to the NFL and all professional athletes is simple; “Don’t be a Plaxico”. Just like when you want to fly from California to Washington D.C., you allow a professional pilot take you there. Just because you may own your own plane, does not qualify you to fly it.

You guys carry the ball and we’ll carry the guns. It’s safer and more entertaining that way.

NFL Players and Senseless Violence

Scott Brown writes about the dangers that well known NFL players face on a regular basis. For some, it has even led to their untimely deaths.

Interestingly, many players seem reluctant to hire professional security agents. There is a fear that it will make them seem “self important” and may arouse “indignation”. Is it just me or does this strike anybody else as a stupid reason to forego concerns and plans to safeguard one’s own personal safety?

Does anybody think any less of a country’s President because he/she is flanked by highly trained personal protection specialists? Of course not. Why? Because history has proven to us that there are disturbed individuals in society who would kill a well known person/celebrity just for their 15 minutes of fame.

Why then should an NFL player not be entitled to have a security person(s) looking out for them? I am fairly sure that the family of Sean Taylor wishes that he had employed personal security and that they had confronted those criminals who broke into his house rather than Mr. Taylor.

There is no shame in taking precautions. Ask any security consultant for their opinion on whether a person is better off saying; “I wished I had…” or saying; “I am going to, just in case”.

Consider of all of the wonderful music John Lennon could have produced these past years had he employed a Personal Protection Agent to watch his back and protect him from the lunatics of this world. Artists like Lennon and world class athletes need to be protected so that they can continue to entertain us and thrill us with the gifts that they have been given. They deserve our support, not our indignation.