Unforgiven - The Tony Washington Story
This is one of the best write-ups I've read on a player in awhile. I feel sorry for the guy, and it doesn't surprise me what the cops did... I'm sure this guy is no angel, few people are, but to see his whole life in shambles for a consensual mistake is troubling. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5497517
Here's a piece of it... very long story, so click the link for the full thing.
LOCATED IN A WAREHOUSE outside Dallas, the windowless Metroflex Gym is not air-conditioned, an aesthetic choice that edits the clientele to a select group of cops, bikers, bodybuilders and other masochists who thrive on the deprivation that exercising in unfiltered 110-degree heat produces. Inside on this blazing midsummer day, patrons are greeted by a 10-foot wooden cross and the rib-rattling sounds of speed metal or hardcore rap. The walls are plastered with bodybuilding glossies, pictures of champions past and present, including local hero and former Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman. Above the photos, artwork depicts the end times -- which, in the given environment, are easy to imagine.
Below the cross, NFL hopeful Tony Washington is pumping out a set of curls. At 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds, the 24-year-old offensive lineman is easily the biggest man in a room filled with big men. His shoulders are the size of canned hams; his thighs cement-solid. As he pauses to swig water laced with protein powder, a 4-year-old girl toddles over and stops at his feet.
"My mama is over there," she shouts, pointing a chocolate-covered finger toward the rear of the gym.
Washington smiles, gives her a gentle high-five. "You gonna work out too?" he asks, crouching to meet the girl eye-to-eye. She shakes her head.
"Is that chocolate bar for me?" he teases.
Washington laughs, then nods to the mother, who gives him a thumbs-up. "Looking good, Tony!" she yells over the music.
He returns to his reps, sweat running like water over his cheekbones and neck. A 20-something dude wearing long shorts and flip-flops passes by, reaches up, punches Washington in the chest. "What up, brah?"
Washington nods hello while the dude raps along with the radio and rhymes right in his face -- "Put a cap in yo' muthaf---in' head!" -- bobbing up and down until, finally, he starts laughing, doubling over at his own drollery, then dances away, chin jerking like a chicken's.
"That guy, he was born rich," Washington says impassively. "And his dad lost everything. So now he has to start over." He takes his baseball cap off, turns it backward, puts it back on. "He's trying to build himself a life from nothing." The big man smiles, lips tight. "Kind of like me."