Remember Him? Brian Banks, The Football Star Who Was Falsely Accused Of Rape And Sent To Prison, Signs With The Atlanta Falcons
Last year we told you about the story of Brian Banks, who at 16 was once a top football prospect with scholarships to play in college, but ended up serving more than five years in prison and had five years of probation thrown on him after being falsely accused of rape. As the story went, Banks claimed he and fellow student, then-15-year-old Wanetta Gibson, on school grounds, made out, groped each other, but never had sex. However, after ending their rendezvous together on a bad note, Gibson claimed that Banks raped her, and before he knew it, he was arrested and facing more than 40 years in jail. Pushed by his lawyer to take a plea deal instead of fighting, Banks went to prison, and Gibson won millions from the school district after her mother claimed the school environment clearly wasn’t a safe one.
After his release in 2011, Gibson of course contacted Banks, they met up, and she admitted lying the whole time, but didn’t tell the truth to police because she thought she would have to give her settlement money back and didn’t want her children to look at her negatively. Banks actually recorded this conversation, and after the fact, with the help of the California Innocence Project, his conviction was overturned last year, and life could finally go on for him.
And boy has it gone on on a good note! He has been training since his release in 2011 so that he could try out for NFL teams. Last summer, Banks was offered the chance to tryout with a few different NFL teams, and though they didn’t pick him up, he did get to play in the UFL for the Las Vegas Locomotives for a short time. But with that experience and his talents, just today Banks was able to sign with the Atlanta Falcons, and he will be fighting for a linebacker spot on the team. Participating in off-season workouts, if things work out, he’ll get a contract and finally fulfill those dreams he had back in high school before lies and the judicial system halted them for years.
On a side note, when he’s not trying to play football, Banks has teamed up with the California Innocence Project to be their spokesperson. He hasn’t tried to pursue any lawsuits against his accuser and doesn’t want retribution as all has been forgiven by him, but he just wants to be free to play the sport he loves. Kudos to that man, now 27. His future is bright!