Athletes and motorcycles.
We all know that there is always risks being taken when a person decides to operate any type of motor vehicle. However, there appears to be a connection between professional athletes, and their love of motorcycles.
Over the years, there have been a number of professional athletes involved in motorcycle accidents. Some of these athletes were able to walk away from these accidents with little to no injures, and be able to continue on with their careers in their respective sport. On the flip side, there unfortunately have also been motor bike accidents that have ended the careers of certain athletes.
In the worst case scenarios, there have been a few athletes who have lost their lives due to a motorcycle crash. What's even more staggering has been the amount of athletes involved in these crashes, when there are clauses in their contracts saying that operating a motorcycle is prohibited.
Maybe it's the thrill of operating a motorcycle that drive these athletes to put their careers on the line. Could it possibly be the larger than life mentality that causes athletes to engage in such reckless behavior? This article will point out five athletes, who've been involved in highly publicized bike accidents.
Professional boxer, Paul Williams, boxing career came to a halt back in May of this year. Williams was involved in a motorcycle accident on May 12, 2012. While swerving to avoid a car on a highway in Atlanta, Georgia, Williams crashed his motorcycle. The accident launched Williams 60 feet into the air, and his spinal cord was severed upon landing on his back. The accident left Williams paralyzed from the waist down.
William's was once considered the most avoided fighter in boxing. He received this title mainly due to his tall height for a boxer(6,2) in the smaller weight classes, his long reach, and the volume of punches he threw. Williams' career had taken a hit back in 2010 when he was viciously knocked out by Sergio Martinez. He came back in 2011, and defeated Erislandy Lara in a controversial bout that many felt he lost.
Williams was set to face Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in September of this year. However, the bout has been cancelled due to Williams' motorcycle incident. It is uknown whether or not Williams will ever walk again at this point. Williams, who is only 30 years old may never box again. However, he is very fortunate to still have his life.
Jay Williams is a former professional basketball player, who is currently a college basketball analyst. Williams played his college ball at Duke University, where he was a standout player and student. He graduated from Duke in just three years, and was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the second overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft.
Although his first name is really Jason, Williams insisted on being known as "Jay" upon entering the NBA. This move was made to keep down confusion with the then-active Jason Williams of the Sacramento Kings, and retired NBA player Jayson Williams. Jay William's career took a turn for the worse on June 19, 2003.
Williams was involved in a motorcycle accident in which he crashed his bike into a streetlight on Chicago's North side. The terms in Williams' contract with the Bulls stated that he wasn't allowed to operate a motorcycle. To go along with the violation of his contract, Williams wasn't even licensed to drive a motorcycle in Illinois. Williams also wasn't wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
Williams suffered serious injuries including a severed main nerve in his leg, a fractured pelvis, and three torn ligaments to his left knee. Williams was required to go through rigorous physical therapy just to be able to regain use of his leg again. Williams was eventually cut by the Bulls, but the team still paid him a portion of his salary. Williams has attempted several times to come back to the NBA. However, all of those attempts ended in him being cut.
The Pittsburger Steelers starting quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, was involved in a highly publicized motorcycle accident on June 17, 2006. The accident occurred on a Monday morning near downtown Pittsburgh.
Roethlisberger crashed his motorcycle into a car, which resulted in Roethlisberger's body flipping over the handlebars of his recently purchased Suzuki motorbike. At the time of the accident, Roethlisberger didn't have a valid motorcycle license in the state of Pennsylvania. He also wasn't wearing a helmet when the accident took place.
Roethlisberger required emergency surgery for broken bones in his face. Fortunately for Roethlisberger, he didn't suffer any spinal or brain related injuries. He would go on and make a full recovery in time for the opening game of the upcoming NFL season. In 2009 he would lead the Steelers to another Super Bowl victory, which marked the second of his career. Roethlisberger is one of the few athletes to be able to continue his career after a serious motorcycle accident.
Kellen Winslow II
Kellen Winslow Jr is currently a tight end in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks. Winslow played his college football at the University of Miami. Winslow's career was filled with controversy before he was even drafted into the NFL.
Following a loss to the Tennessee Volunteers in 2003, Winslow made headlines for a post game tirade in which he compared the game against Tennessee to war. Winslow stated; "They're out there to kill you, so I'm out there to kill them, I'm a [expletive] soldier". Winslow would later apologize for his post game tirade.
Winslow would go on to be drafted into the NFL by the Cleveland Browns with the 6th overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft. Winslows' motorcycle accident occurred in 2005. While riding his Suzuki motorcycle in a college parking lot, Winslow hit a curb and was thrown from his bike. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, which led to a staph infection developing. It took Winslow six weeks to fight off the infection, and he was placed on the 'Physically Unable-To-Perform' list for the 2005 season.
Like many other players, Winslow was under contract to not operate a motorcycle, or engage in any activities that were a risk to personal injury. As with Ben Roethlisberger, Winslow was fortunate enough to be able to carry on with his career following his motorcycle incident.
Diego Corrales was a victim of the worst case scenario that could come from a motorcycle accident. Corrales lost his life in a motorcycle accident on May 7, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Corrales struck the back of another vehicle while attempting to pass another vehicle at a high rate of speed. Upon striking the vehicle, Corrales was knocked off of his Suzuki GSXR 1000 bike, and was thrown to the ground. Corrales was rushed to a hopsital immediately, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Corrales was a former WBO, WBC, and Ring lightweight champion. He was also a WBO and IBF super featherweight champion. During his boxing career, Corrales is primarily remembered for his two bouts against Jose Luis Castillo, and his bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Corrales was only 29 years old when he died. Corrales's death was a shock to boxing fans worldwide, and a loss for boxing in general. May his soul rest in peace.
Bradrick H. (author) from Texas on July 13, 2012:
I agree that without risk that life would be boring. However, it's also important to use basic common sense when taking certain risks, and wearing a helmet is common sense in my opinion. Thanks for your feedback sir.
S.Graveson from Cumbria, UK on July 13, 2012:
As a huge boxing fan the accidents that involved "Chico" Corrales and Paul Williams are really sad. Sports managers/promoters need to have it in the guys contracts that they aren't allowed to ride bikes whilst contracted with them due to things like this.
dongately from Sana Clarita, California on July 13, 2012:
You should always ride defensively and always wear a helmet. Having said that, trying to live a life without risk would be pretty boring.
lovedoctor926 on July 12, 2012:
A very good hub. Many people know it's risky, but they still do it for a bit of the adrenaline rush.
The mentality behind this is," oh, it won't ever happen to me! They are wrong! You are more likely to get involved in a serious accident once you get behind that Harley Davidson especially if they are not wearing a helmet.