Earlier this week, it was announced that the Falcons signed LB Brian Banks, who spent five years in prison after an old class mate fabricated a story claiming Banks had raped her. After coming clean that she had made the story up, Banks was exonerated.
This is truly a heart warming story. Originally committing to play at USC in 2002 prior to the false conviction, Banks’ football dreams seemed to be dashed forever. Last year he attended a host of NFL training camps before eventually playing with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL.
The Falcons have revived Banks’ dreams of one day playing in the NFL, and from a competitive standpoint, the opportunity is there. The Falcons have a noticeable weakness at the linebacker position and Banks can add some much needed depth.
Regardless of the outcome of his tenure with the Falcons, Brian Banks is a guy that I will be rooting for. Stories like his are truly an inspiration and really reflect the human side of the sport that is often lost in the shuffle.
Below are a few links that will provide you with some more knowledge and insight into Brandon Banks’ hard fought road to reclaiming his dream.
- Brian Banks’ Wikipedia Page
- California Innocence Project, which played an integral role in his exoneration
- Video message on the California Innocence Project website
- Brian Banks appears on CNN in May 2012 to talk about his NFL journey
- Brian Banks tells Today Show that he wants another shot at NFL the day after his exoneration