Proving one’s innocence when the legal system is involved is one of the hardest thing to do. Former Dallas Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead is very lucky indeed.
It’s been a wild offseason for multiple current and former members of the Dallas Cowboys that have had legal issues. Third year linebacker Damien Wilson was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. In 33 games, Wilson has recorded 28 tackles with five starts.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott was ticketed for going 30 miles per hour over the posted speed limit in Frisco, TX. In his rookie year, Elliott only led the NFL in rushing with 1,631 yards. Obviously, Elliott and Wilson are on two different ends of the productivity scale.
The list doesn’t stop there – defensive end David Irving was suspended four games for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug (PED) policy. Rookie cornerback Jourdan Lewis was fortunately found not guilty after a trial for domestic violence and assault and battery after an extreme pillow fight.
Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin was cleared of alleged sexual assault in Fort Lauderdale. Finally, there’s receiver Lucky Whitehead who was fired on his day off for stealing boxes. Actually, Whitehead’s identity was given to police by someone shoplifting in Virginia.
Of the previous mentioned, active players – Whitehead was the second most productive on the field but the fastest to be released by the team. I applaud him and the others for being able to prove their innocence. As anyone in a relationship probably understands that proving one’s innocence is the hardest thing to do. When the legal system is involved, it’s even harder.
Whitehead lost his job and he wasn’t arrested at all. As much as I’d like to be light-hearted about the situation and mention that it’s worse than former quarterback Tony Romo losing his job to a winning streak, I can’t. I won’t even support the conspiracy theory that Jerry Jones paid former Cowboys receiver Dwayne Harris to impersonate Whitehead.
There was a recent study by the non-profit Vera Institute of Justice that indicated that at the time, more than 700,000 citizens were locked in jail simply because they were too poor to post bail. The data indicated that 75% of the jail population were awaiting trail for non-violent offenses and were too poor to post bail or pay court imposed fines.
Although every American citizen is presumed innocent until proven guilty, it doesn’t stop one from getting detained. As this article from CBS News states: those held in jail for weeks until their fair trail risk losing their jobs, suffer low income and if they are a single parent, children can be placed in foster care.
Society has called this – The Bail Trap. While most athletes are able to get in legal trouble, post bail and hire elite attorney’s from The Body Law Firm for their defense. Every member of Cowboy Nation isn’t that fortunate. The simple accusation by law enforcement of an innocent man cost Whitehead his job. I hope he gets reparations, restitution and compensation from somewhere.
Whitehead might feel down on his luck after being released by the Cowboys and not getting a chance to compete for his job. The fact remains that similar to Greg Hardy, Michael Irvin, Elliott, Dak Prescott, Jourdan Lewis, Rolando McClain and others – Whitehead would have been able to escape The Bail Trap.
In an era where a study from CNN Money and another from Forbes says 60% of Americans don’t have $500 or $1000 in savings for emergencies, like posting bail. Whitehead should still feel lucky, very Lucky indeed.