Brian Banks will apparently have a shot at making an NFL team, and it’s impossible to imagine how anybody wouldn’t root for him.
A decade ago, Banks was a Long Beach, Calif. high school football player good enough to have drawn interest from several powerhouse college teams, including Ohio State, Michigan, and USC.
But in 2002, Banks was accused of kidnapping and rape by a high school classmate. He protested his innocence, but on the advice of an attorney who told him, “You’re a big, black teenager. They’re going to assume you’re guilty,” he pleaded no contest. He subsequently spent 62 months in jail and another five years on probation, registered as a sex offender.
Last week, Banks presented prosecutors in Long Beach with a video tape in which his accuser acknowledged that she had lied. The rape conviction was thrown out. Shortly afterward, Banks, now 26, was contacted by four NFL teams. He will workout for the Seattle Seahawks next month.
“I think that any team that gives me an opportunity will be really impressed with what I can do, despite all of what I’ve been through these past 10 years,” Banks said this week.
Whether or not you’re a football fan, don’t you find yourself hoping he’s right?