This is one of those stories that will restore your faith in humanity, after it previously having been destroyed by what led to this being possible.
In an article on ESPN.com, the recently-exonerated Brian Banks told columnist Rick Reilly that he has been contacted by several NFL teams regarding a tryout. Banks said that on June 7th he will work out for the Seattle Seahawks, and that he also has received calls fromt he Washington Redskins, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Miami Dolphins, but workout dates for those teams have not been set yet.
Banks spoke confidently about his upcoming chance to finally do what he was unjustly denied so many years ago:
“I’ll make ‘em happy,” Banks, who’s been training non-stop since October, told Reilly on Tuesday. “After all I’ve been through these last 10 years, I can still do some things that will impress you.”
We first learned of Brian Banks last week, when a Los Angeles Superior Court judge overturned the 2002 rape and kidnapping conviction that wrongly sent him to prison for five years. This came as a result of his accuser, Wanetta Gibson, sending him a friend request on Facebook. Banks contacted the California Innocence Project of the California Western School of Law, which then videoptaped her recanting her story. In the tapes Gibson admits to making up the entire thing. In the lawsuit, Gibson won $1.5 million, a sum of money that she said she does not want to return.
As a result of the initial conviction, Banks said it was nearly impossible to find work since he has been out of prison because he had to register as a sex offender, wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and had a felony record. Before the conviction, Banks was a highly touted high school football star in 2002, receiving offers from all the major powerhouses. He had even committed to USC, and was looking forward to his future as a Trojan. But he never got to experience that life. For all intents and purposes, his life was taken from him and he had no hopes of getting it back. Until last week, when a judge rightfully changed his fate.
And it seems to just be getting better for Banks, who last week said he would love to have the opportunity to try out for the NFL, as he still thinks he has it in him to compete at that level.
Aside from his new prospect of NFL workouts, Banks told Reilly that he has also been contacted by the Arizona Diamonbacks for a job offer that would allow him to “work in the front office and explore other sports opportunities.”
I think I can speak for everyone (with a heart, anyway) that if there is anyone who deserves this miraculous change of fate, it is absolutely Brian Banks. Fight On, Mr. Banks, and good luck with your future. Make it count.