Talk:List of professional sportspeople convicted of crimes

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An important note on scope[edit]

As you can see, there have been three discussions regarding deletion of this article. One of the primary concerns is the possibility of the scope of the article being too broad. That is why for the article to confirm to standards it is necessary to limit entries to serious crimes. While the editor may use their discretion in interpreting the meaning of the word "serious", it should certainly imply a crime that would ordinarily result in a prison sentence (note the difference between prison and jail, being incarcerated for less than a month would normally be in jail). Including every athlete to receive a conviction for driving while intoxicated or simple assault would be completely unwieldy. CitiCat 18:20, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Suggestion[edit]

I think you might have more luck of getting more contributors if you expand the categories and perhaps link to the appropriate pages.--Hourick 18:02, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Maybe you could add Greg Skrepenak? Former Carolina Panther turned felon. 68.81.178.64 (talk) 20:20, 29 June 2013 (UTC) JoeBob

How about if you change it from "English Football" to "Soccer" (which is a more correct term and will stop you having a load of different countries having to be listed)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by SexyIrishLeprechaun (talkcontribs) 13:17, August 28, 2007 (UTC)

You forgot former Dallas Cowboy Eugene Lockhart. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Lockhart 205.172.134.23 (talk) 18:10, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Title and opening sentence contradition?[edit]

The title of the article is "List of professional athletes who have been convicted of crimes," but the first sentence states felonies. Technically, crimes would also include misdemeanors, no? Also, the next sentence says it includes amateurs, too. So, should the article be "List of atheletes convicted of felonies", which also, by the way, eliminates unnecessary passive voice/wordiness? Regards, --Le Grand Roi des CitrouillesTally-ho! 04:03, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

It isn't necessary to include all inclusion criteria in the title (we would have some excessively long titles that way), but you make a good point about passive voice/wordiness. I'll move to resolve that.--Chaser - T 13:55, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good! :) Best, --Le Grand Roi des CitrouillesTally-ho! 23:15, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

How about instead of "such as felonies" we use the wording "generally those that resulted in the perpetrator being incarcerated?" CitiCat 03:45, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

"...being incarcerated for an extended/long period" would exclude misdemeanor incarcerations. I think whatever we do here is vague and imperfect, but limiting it in some way is a necessary evil so we don't get every athlete who's served 10 days for drunk driving like Paris Hilton or something.--Chaser - T 03:54, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
We could put the DUI sentences as a category instead, but it might get overpopulated.--Hourick 23:46, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the discussion was to move the article. —Angr If you've written a quality article... 11:33, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

List of professional athletes convicted of crimesList of professional sportspeople convicted of crimes — Requesting move as sportspeople are more of a wider term and it would be more easier for others to add other people from other non-athletic sport in —Willirennen (talk) 18:41, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Oppose - sorry, the term sportspeople sounds well too stuffed-up and formal to me, let alone politically correct. Athletes covers the term just fine, and covers basically anyone who would be covered by sportspeople. And, for the very few occupations in which participants are called sportspeople but not athletes (namely: chess), I'm not sure we would wish their inclusion anyway. The Evil Spartan (talk) 03:15, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
    • My understanding is that "athlete" only refers to track-and-field people in British English. I don't think the issue is political correctness. Dekimasuよ! 06:16, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose I understand why this move is being proposed, but I concur with The Evil Spartan; I don't really think sportspeople is a good word for an article title and feel that athelete works reasonably well --Lox (t,c) 09:07, 6 January 2008 (UTC) Support (ish). I still stand by my opinion, but per Willirennen, it appears that WP uses "sportspeople" (e.g. List of sportspeople) to cover a broad range of people who professionally compete in competitions. While I feel it's really too PC, I understand that "athelete" can suggest a very narrow field, so I will not oppose a move. --Lox (t,c) 11:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment on above 2 My main reason for suggestion is what about racecar drivers, some people don't considered it to be an athletic sport. Willirennen (talk) 23:12, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't think anyone would have a problem with putting racecar drivers, or say, jockeys in the list. CitiCat 04:01, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
  • What I wanted to say is athletes is going to confuse people, plus sportspeople is as PC as athletes. Consider this link, is there a World International Tiddlywinks Champion or a Trans Continental Chess World Champion mentioned on it and they have no problem with the title called sports people. Willirennen (talk) 13:48, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Relisted to generate a more thorough discussion so that consensus may be reached.
Please add new comments below this notice. Thanks, Lox (t,c) 19:56, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

I'm now thinking the page move may have been a bad idea - The inclusion of Vic Lee may show that the criteria is now too broad. There are many people involved in management at some level or partial ownership, and a certain percentage of them will have a criminal conviction. A list should be manageable, not ever-expanding. Also as to Phil Taylor, while I don't want to argue the inclusion of a darts player, in general I think only those sentenced to prison (or similarly punished) should be included. If every drunk driving, drug possession and simple assault case is included, the list would be massive. CitiCat 05:56, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I think Phil Taylor is worth including, because who would rather serve a community service than being labeled a sex pervert for years.
What should be excluded is any motoring offences such as driving without due care and attention and drink driving as it is not really considered a criminal conviction unless they have served prison time for their offences. This is because in the United Kingdom, motoring offences are not considered to be a criminal act unless it involves causing death or serious injury or driving while banned.
Unless they are actively involve in the management of a team such as coach/manager or technical director, any sport team owners are worth excluding, such as Owen Oyston as simply because they are not sportspeople, unless penpushing is considered to be a sport. Jay Pegg (talk) 15:36, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Carlton Dotson and Larry Pfohl[edit]

Making two deletions. Carlton Dotson was never a professional. And while profession wrestling is athletic, sportspeople refers to people who are paid for competitions, which wrestling is not, so I'm removing Larry Pfohl and that section. Reading the deletion discussions at the top of this page shows that the scope must be limited to make this page meaningful. CitiCat 12:54, May 4, 2009 (UTC)

I question the Larry Pfohl bit, the reason why is because wrestling (especially WWE) is listed on a number of sport related lists, including list of sports people who have died during their career, plus that removal is going to be open to debate, especially those who are so passionately pro-WWE. Donnie Park (talk) 18:08, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Being passionately pro-WWE is a good reason to not be part of the discussion, as it introduces bias into articles. I would suggest creating a "list of professonal wrestlers who have been convicted of crimes" article. CitiCat 18:05, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
If there's no further discussion I'd like to go ahead and remove Pfohl again. The same arguments remain - Pfohl is (was) not a professional sportsman, and inclusion of wrestlers would open the article to having an unmanageable scope. CitiCat 16:41, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

List ommissions[edit]

An probably a whole bunch of people in Category:Sports controversies and its subcats. MickMacNee (talk) 20:47, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

AfD outcomes[edit]

So, there were a few points raised (many of them by me) at the AfD that should be tackled at an editorial level rather than a deletion level. Couple of proposals for discussion:

  1. Clarify the lead and the inclusion criteria. In particular the word "serious" needs to be properly defined.
  2. Remove drink driving offenses (+tax evasion +fraud +domestic violence per suggestions below). These are not "serious" crimes, and in some countries they are not even considered crimes but rather civil offenses.
  3. The big one: Split this list into two separate but more appropriate targets: a list of sportspeople whose careers were ended because of their criminal conviction, and a list of sportspeople who were convicted of crimes within their sport. Obviously a reasonable title will need to be found for these lists. Comments? Zunaid 13:05, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
1 - I originally used the term "felonies" not realizing that it was not a universal term. The premise was "crimes that result in being sentenced to prison" - I still think that's a good cutoff if it can be worded properly.
2 - Agreed. That and domestic abuse are not really what this article is about.
3 - Not sure about that one. The majority of entries occur after the individual has left the sport - but usually soon after, which I think implies there is still a correlation. If someone was writing a thesis on "do retired athletes lack direction or purpose" or something similar, I would like this list to be a useful tool. CitiCat 19:11, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

This is where I start poking holes into the premise of this list as currently worded. Using your #3 argument is quite a big change of scope (i.e. "during or soon after their playing career ended"). To pick a particularly egregious example, Garth le Roux (South African cricketer in the 1980's) was recently arrested for tax evasion, MANY years after his playing career ended and entirely in relation to his business interests since his retirement. Which reminds me, add tax evasion and fraud to #2 as things that should be removed from this list. Is the intention of this list to include white collar criminals as well? Zunaid 21:39, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

I see your point, but it's hard to draw a line. In any event, you could still propose the theory that the loss of that part of one's life (being admired, being part of an organization, etc) could still effect the individual much later in life. I think the problem with tax evasion is that it is often used as a plea bargain choice for other crimes. If you can make clearly defined lines, they would certainly be worth considering. CitiCat 03:31, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Well I've made 2 suggestions for clearly defined lines as per the 2 separate list ideas above. I've tried (as have others at the AfD and yourself in this thread) to draw a line somewhere, without much success. Everything proposed so far seems like an arbitrary cut-off. If anyone can come up with a different idea than having 2 separate lists then it will be good to consider. Zunaid 09:51, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

No further input since last week, so starting tomorrow I'm going to prune the list of all the "non-serious" crimes as discussed, if anyone can come up with clearly defined lines for this list then please suggest it, otherwise I propose that we go ahead and split this list in two as suggested. ZUNAIDFOREVER 07:30, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

If you have to quote "non-serious", then that suggests a risk of applying POV to it. What's an objective definition for non-serious? Would this be according to local law, or some hypothetical international objective level? Drinking (as a trivially obvious example) might be a serious matter for a Saudi or a Mormon, but just Saturday night for a Man Utd player. If you do prune on this basis, I'd suggest tying it to a "prison time" criterion (or any better ideas), and stating that clearly beforehand - even if then makes for international variation between offences, at least we'd have some objective standard to support our position. Andy Dingley (talk) 09:20, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Good idea, at least a length-of-time criterion gives us an objective standard. The list already has a problem in that it doesn't define the word "serious" in the first place. What length do you propose? One year? If we do go with this though, how do we deal with cases where parole or good behaviour reduces the time served? What about cases where the option is a jail sentence or a fine (and the player pays the fine instead)? Do you oppose my idea for two separate lists as detailed above? ZUNAIDFOREVER 09:37, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
I'd regard it as "prison time", of any length post-trial. It might not be perfect, but it's clearly defined, and that seems like the most important aspect from our needs. Andy Dingley (talk)
Two lists seems like a good idea (and I wouldn't even oppose an article split), but the terms need to be clear. Are they "sport related offences" and "others", or "career-ending offences" and "others"? Either way is still likely to have unclear cases: what about someone who's "off the pitch" for a while for something unrelated and then decides to retire at the same time? Assaulting another player might be "related", but would this change if it was on- or off- the pitch? Match fixing presumably is, but how about tax related to income (or dubious income) from sport? It's best to state the criteria beforehand, as it saves a lot of arguing afterwards. Andy Dingley (talk)
In my current proposal there is no "other". It is just "sport related offences" and "career-ending offences". Anything that falls outside of these two would get cut. Of course we can tweak the scope of either of these (or both) to be more inclusive or exclusive as we choose, as long as we can keep the criteria clearly defined. I think no matter how we do it there will always be corner cases, we can decide those on a case-by-case basis. My own POV is to err on the side of caution and leave corner cases out, they are covered in the person's article anyway. ZUNAIDFOREVER 11:18, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
The trouble with that is that it changes the scope of the article, as it shifts the focus from "sportspeople convicted of crimes" (and any possible implication of being a counter-example to Victorian morality of "a Sportsman would behave sportingly in all matters") to "sportspeople who stopped being sportspeople as a result of their crimes". That may have implications for page naming, lead section etc.
I'm also concerned that it ignores those convicted and serving sentences for serious crimes, so long as it didn't affect their career! Maybe that's wrong of me, and it's not WP's place to take any such moral stance (even when objectivised through the courts).
I'd also be against two lists in that interpretation, as I see it as really being three lists: the intersection between them being such a proportion that we'd have to list it as a list itself. If that's the case, then why not have one list of "sports-related OR career ending", and annotate each case. This shifts the focus of the article to "sportspeople who were de-sported after their crimes", but (even though I don't like myself) that could be acceptable. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:07, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
As a separate point, I'd like to see tax evasion included if only because of Lester Piggott, a well-liked UK jockey who served a year's sentence for this. It's NPOV to include this, but he had a lot of popular support at the time who saw the sentence as excessive and exemplary. If this article has any useful purpose, it ought to record cases like that. Andy Dingley (talk) 10:10, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
I'd say that the criteria of where a crime caused the end of a sporting career will be self-limiting to serious crime. Kevin (talk) 10:51, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps, but that won't catch all serious crimes, where these didn't end careers. Andy Dingley (talk) 11:07, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

This is starting to turn into AfD Round 2. Is there a need to catch ALL serious crimes? Isn't that the same as "List of carpenters convicted of crimes", "List of dentists convicted of crimes" etc.? I don't see the need to list people convicted in their private capacity, especially if it is after they've left the sport, or something not related to their sport. ZUNAIDFOREVER 11:53, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Then maybe that's because the crucial question still hasn't been answered. Without prejudice to any issue of deletion, what is the encyclopedic value of this article? Is it to list sportspeople who stopped being sportspeople because of crime, or is it to list criminals who were also sportspeople? Either could work, but it needs to be decided up-front and made clear. The inclusion criteria then flow from this fairly naturally. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:11, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I've given my opinion on where the encyclopedic value of this list lies (i.e. 2 separate lists instead of this "catch-all" list). How about we submit a Request for Comment and get some third party input? ZUNAIDFOREVER 16:28, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Your suggestion implies more than that: only listing those where the crime affected the sport. That is itself a significant choice, more important than the formatting in a multiplicity of lists.
Assuming those criteria for inclusion, my only question with your "two lists" approach would be the minor one of how it deals with those crimes that fall into both lists. As I see this as a significant fraction, I think separate listing might be simply unworkable.
Whatever criteria for inclusion you choose, I'd like to see the lead section and article title accurately reflect that. Only listing those where the crime affected the sport is a reasonable and encyclopedic definition, but it will exclude some and so the article title shouldn't remain in a form (as at present) that could be misinterpreted to mean "any sportsperson, any crime".
Otherwise it's your choice (and anyone else who comments) as to which interpretation to pick. I've no strong feelings either way. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:00, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

I'll post an RfC, let's get some more eyes on this. I don't feel comfortable taking a decision with only a handful of people's input. As to your comments, the title and lead would have to change if we do decide to change the criteria. I'm not sure how much overlap there would be of my 2-list idea, how many people commit murder "within their sport"? The only overlap between I can see would come from bribery, corruption, drug-taking and maybe tax evasion related to earnings. ZUNAIDFOREVER 18:02, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

RfC[edit]

The history of the current discussion is in the above section and at last AfD which just recently closed as no consensus. Basically at this point we are rehashing the same arguments and need outside input to provide some guidance. On the one hand some (not necessarily all) editors acknowledge that the current scope of the article is too broad, but on the other hand there has been no progress in drawing a line on what to include and exclude without ending up with arbitrary rules. Is there a better way of doing this or are the current inclusion criteria fine as they are? Please evaluate the suggestions given above as well, for changing the scope and/or splitting the list vs. maintaining the status quo. Thanks. ZUNAIDFOREVER 18:15, 18 November 2009 (UTC)


Without "arbitrary rules" there is no way to prevent this discussion recurring. Currently, a number of people on the list certainly should be considered as "trivia" (heck -- "breach of the peace"?) In order to keep it to people who reasonably might be considered to have had a major conviction, I would suggest a cut-off of 5 years on sentences. Delete all the ones below that. And a person who has been fined should not be in the same group as a murderer, for sure. Collect (talk) 19:31, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
That's far too long, on an international scale - it might make sense for US sentencing, but that would remove almost all the UK soccer players from the list. It would even remove the 1964 British betting scandal from the list, a case so celebrated it has its own article. Andy Dingley (talk) 21:50, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
What about 5 years (US) and 2 years (rest of world) then? Collect (talk) 21:56, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
How about if we only allow those who are active (not retired) listed. Donnie Park (talk) 13:24, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that would make any sense - part of the purpose of the subject is what happens to athletes after they retire (fall from the spotlight, so to speak). A problem is that the same crime can get two vastly different sentences depending on where and when it is committed. I think a one year limit would be fine. CitiCat 18:50, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

René Higuita[edit]

As with the removal of René Higuita for failing to meet the article's scope, what about Junior Johnson, his conviction was pardoned, at least by President Reagan, so isn't that the same thing. So I am going to assume that being pardoned by the head of state will get you a mention on this list and getting it quashed after appeal won't. Donnie Park (talk) 13:08, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

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What?[edit]

150 years? Really? 108.71.123.163 (talk) 18:16, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

What part are you having trouble understanding? - SummerPhDv2.0 19:29, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

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