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Criminals In Sports


Eddie

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Today whilst looking through the BBC Sport website I stumbled upon an article about a football scheme in Belgium known as 'Football In Prison' It was headed by Charleroi scout Pierre Bodenghien, the article used quotes from the scout when describing the skills and ability of one Ilombe Mboyo, whom he (after seeing he had a record for good behaviour in the prison) got a trial with Charleroi which eventually led to him getting a contract and eventually becoming a pro footballer.

 

Mboyo currently plays for Genk n Belgium but was touted for a move to the West Ham last summer but after his past was exposed to the world, he was in prison due to taking part in a gang rape of a 14 year old girl when he was 17, the Hammers fans took to Twitter to voice there displeasure with the Striker coming there. The club listened and Mboyo went to his current club.

 

The Mboyo incident appeared to be a catalyst in the removal of funding of the Football In Prison scheme, it was claimed to be due to cost cutting. Bodenghien's project had been running for 20 years and he claims had been successful as he had only seen one fight in that time. He claimed that the players all behaved away from the pitch as well as they wouldn't be allowed to attend if they didn't. His thoughts were that the football taught them self discipline and helped build team skills for them which would help them integrate in and out of prison. It was also mentioned that the 'mafia' types in the prison would warden the games and make sure there was no funny business so that indicates that maybe it wasn't all due to the football eh?..

 

This article poses a couple of questions but mine is, What are your thoughts on Criminals in sports, now this covers a large amount of ground but with Mboyo and the likes of Marlon King and Mike Tyson from boxing, what are your thoughts on people being allowed to play football/sports again (professionally) after being in prison, do you feel there rehabilitation should allow them to play again or do you think that due to these crimes they should be banned and not given the fame and possible influence on the audience?

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I personally think that criminals, in most cases, should be allowed to become pro athletes if they have served time for their crime. I do say "in most cases" though, as it would probably depend on the crime. If Jeff Dahmer exhibited Leo Messi levels of skill in the prison yard during his hour of excercise, then he can stay in prison, y'know? Stuff where people aren't going to get better, then they should stay in prison. Lifers.

 

But stuff like assault, rape and gang rape, robbery, drug dealing, human trafficking... (sucks teeth)... pffft, you've probably go to go with the judge. If the judge deems that a person deserves x-amount of years in prison for their crime, then they should probably be given a chance at life once they've served their time.

 

EDIT: Yes, even for stuff like rape. As harsh and as horrible and as unpalettable as it sounds.

 

As the Belgian authorities showed, the real way around it is to not allow a prisoner any chance to show any professional level sporting prowess. Which, I think anyway, is a bit harsh.

 

Cheers!

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Messi pissed me off because EA still feel the need to give him more money to not pay taxes with by putting him on the cover of FIFA 14 in every country.

 

There's some high profile cases in American Football recently, most obviously Michael Vick and his dog-fighting but also several gun related instances and drug possession and they've all been allowed back. That said, Aaron Hernandez might not be so lucky even if he gets off his first degree murder charge.

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