“NFL Role Models” Email Takes Aim at NFL Player’s Character, Records-Truth! & Outdated!
Summary of eRumor:
In the wake of NFL national anthem protests, a commentary dubbed “NFL Role Models?” making the rounds in forwarded emails and social media posts raises questions about NFL players Travis Henry, Donte Stallworth, Dan Dan Russell and Adam Jones — and it the cites arrest records of all 32 NFL teams.
Claims made in the “NFL Role Models” commentary are mostly true — but the majority of players listed had been out of the league for years by 2017 and never actually took part in national anthem protests.
The email details the paternity and criminal records of former players Travis Henry, Donte Stallworth and Dan Russell — and current player Marshawn Lynch — before concluding, “Do these scum bags deserve your money and time? Join the boycott!”
Given that two players on the list had been out of the league for 10 years or more, and a third player had been out of the league for five years, the list of examples seems pretty unusual. It appears that the commentary has been circulating for some time and was resurrected in 2017 in response to national anthem protests.
Regardless, we’ll take a look at each of the individual claims.
Travis Henry Fathered 11 Children with 10 Women, Was Reinstated by NFL After Prison-Truth!
Claims made about Travis Henry, who was an NFL running back from 2001 to 2007, are a combination of truth and fiction. But, again, Henry never took part in national anthem protests, having retired years before they began in September 2016.
The email (and subsequent Facebook posts like the one below) alleged that Travis Henry fathered 11 children from 10 different women, and that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated Henry to play after Henry served a prison sentence for selling cocaine.
It’s true that Travis Henry fathered 11 kids with 10 different women (including one set of twins), and that Henry was sentenced to three years in prison for selling cocaine.
After the Broncos cut Henry before the 2008 season, Henry said he had to turn to drug running because “he was struggling to keep up with child support payments” after leaving the league. And, while it’s true that Goodell reinstated Henry’s eligibility to play following his release from prison in 2012, it was a forgone conclusion that the then-33-year-old wouldn’t play in the league again.
Donte Stallworth Killed a Pedestrian in Drunken Driving Accident-Truth!
It’s true that Donte Stallworth hit and killed a pedestrian in Florida while driving drunk in March 2008. Stallworth, who reached confidential financial settlement with the victim’s family, was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Stallworth was suspended without pay for the 2009 season and played three more seasons after his reinstatement before retiring after the 2012 season.
Again, Stallworth retired well before NFL national anthem protests began, and he never protested himself. Stallworth, who meets regularly with rookie players to talk about the dangers of drunken driving has discussed the national anthem protests as a CNN contributor, however. He said in 2017 that some players told him that the protests were about the gender gap in addition to racial equality.
Marshawn Lynch Paid a Fine for Hit and Run of Woman-Truth!
A woman suffered a bruised hip and had to get seven stitches after Marshawn Lynch struck her with his SUV in Buffalo in 2008. Lynch testified that it was raining hard at the time, and he claimed that he didn’t know he’d struck the woman, who was apparently standing next to another woman who was dancing in the street.
Lynch, the only player on this list who actually took part in national anthem protests, had his license revoked and paid a $100 fine.
Dan Russell Slipped a Woman Date Rape Drug-Truth!
It’s true that former NFL defensive tackle Dan Russell was charged in 2002 with drugging a woman and recording her rape with a number of accomplices. Russell, who was serving a one-year suspension for drug use at the time of the offense.
NFL Arrest Records By Team Since 2000-Outdated!
Claims about the number of players on each NFL team that have been arrested since 2000 appear to be based on outdated statistics. The email claims that there were a total of 656 arrests — but the number had grown to 855 arrests by the start of the 2017 NFL season, according to a USA Today NFL arrest record database.