In perhaps the most ironic case of timing witnessed in quite a while, former NFL linebacker Junior Seau drove off an embankment hours after being arrested for domestic violence. Seau’s arrest shines a light squarely on the issue of domestic violence. In fact, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
According to the Examiner, Seau, 41, rolled his Cadillac SUV off a California roadside on Monday. He was later treated at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., for injuries sustained in the incident.
Seau Charged with Domestic Violence
The NY Post reports that Seau’s 25-year-old girlfriend reported to police that the 12-time Pro Bowler assaulted her during an argument at the football great’s home on Sunday evening. Though she had visible injuries, she did not require medical treatment. Seau was taken to a San Diego detention facility and released an hour later. Police are still investigating both incidents.
A Brilliant Career…But Will Seau Be Known for Chaotic Personal Life?
Seau’s NFL career has spanned 20 years and included stints at three NFL franchises. Most notably, he spent 13 seasons with the San Diego Chargers. Seau left the NFL this past January, though he has not officially retired from the league. Though he has had a brilliant football career, Seau may be headed down the slippery slope of other sports greats whose personal lives imploded and destroyed their sports legacy.
Tiger Woods’ Life Implodes Almost Instantaneously
Tiger Woods had it all- a beautiful wife, two adorable children, multimillion dollar endorsement deals and a sizzling hot golf career. In fact, Woods was golf, ranked as the top golfer in the world for an astounding 271 straight weeks. He had 14 major championships under his belt and was the first athlete to earn $1 billion. That all came to an end in the early morning hours of Nov. 27, 2009.
According to Business Week, Woods, 34, was injured in a car accident outside his Florida home following a fight with his then-wife Elin Nordegren. Although details at first were sketchy and even accused Nordegren of spousal abuse, it turns out Woods had been arguing with his wife about his numerous sexual encounters with other women. The scandal that ensued caused Woods to leave golf and seek treatment for sex addiction. Nordegren and Woods divorced nine months later. Though Woods has returned to his beloved game, he has yet to recover his playing prowess, lucrative endorsements or respect and admiration of his fans and peers.
O.J. Simpson’s Legacy is One of Murder, Kidnapping and Robbery Despite His Stellar Football Career
Former football player O.J. Simpson is perhaps the poster child for athletes with messy personal lives. Like Seau, Simpson, 61, also had issues with domestic violence against his wife Nicole Simpson. According to the NY Times, following a messy divorce, the Simpsons seemed to have been on amicable footing.
However, on the night of June 12, 1994, Nicole Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were murdered in the courtyard of Nicole’s Los Angeles home. All evidence seemed to point to O.J. as the killer, and he was summarily arrested and put on trial. In 1995, he was found not guilty of the murders, though the court of public opinion saw it differently. The families of the murdered sued O.J. in civil court and received a guilty verdict. Though they received a judgment of $33.5 million in damages, O.J. remained free.
That changed, however in 2008, when Simpson was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping in an unrelated incident, and sent to prison for 33 years.
Brett Favre Caught Up in Sexting Scandal
In the scandal line just barely ahead of Seau is Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. According to CBS News, Favre’s 20-year NFL career may be on the line as he has been called to meet with league officials over a sexting scandal. Favre is accused of sending racy text messages, voicemails and X-rated photos of himself to former NY Jets employee Jenn Sterger while he was playing for the team. Who knows how this messy drama will turn out. Worst-case scenario, Favre could be fined or suspended from the NFL for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
It remains to be seen if Seau will go the route of Woods and try to repair his reputation and career, or that of Simpson and continue down the path of more brushes with the law and personal turmoil. Hopefully he will try to stay on the straight and narrow.
Karen Petersen. “Junior Seau drama puts Domestic Violence Awareness Month in spotlight.” Examiner
Mason Levinson and Michael Buteau. “Tiger Woods’s Divorce Becomes Final, Nine Months After Accident.” Business Week
Steve Fress. “Simpson’s Past Trial Looms Over Court.” NY Times
Edecio Martinez. “Brett Favre Scandal: QB Slated to Meet with NFL over Jenn Sterger Sexting Claim.” CBS News