It’s a bad time to be Willie McGinest. Despite being employed by the NFL Network, being loved and respected universally in the industry, and owning three Super Bowl rings, McGinest couldn’t stay on the right side of the law, and now is looking at potentially eight years in prison.
In December, McGinest and his entourage were caught on camera assaulting another diner in a Beverly Hills restaurant. McGinest allegedly smashed a bottle over the man’s head after punching him in the face. Fox News reports:
Former New England Patriots star Willie McGinest is facing eight years in prison after being charged with two felonies for his role in an assault in December.
McGinest was charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury, court records show.
The former defensive lineman turned himself in to police on Dec. 19 in connection to the assault that occurred 10 days prior at a restaurant in West Hollywood. The video seems to show McGinest punching a man in the face and later attacking him with a bottle.
Former Patriots star and current NFL analyst Willie McGinest has been arrested for felony assault‼️
He punched a man and then smashed a bottle on his head at an L.A. hotspot earlier this month.pic.twitter.com/1rwcJB6fyQ
— OutKick (@Outkick) December 20, 2022
It is shocking behavior from the former NFL star. McGinest had a reputation as one of the more likeable people in the league, and his work with the NFL Network had earned him accolades. He was a model citizen during his career, as well as being active in the community as well.
It is unclear what precipitated the incident. Usually, people in general just don’t attack others in a restaurant for no reason. Whatever the excuse, it clearly wasn’t enough to avoid two felony charges. Fox continued:
The fight, involving McGinest and several other unidentified men, was later broken up and McGinest could be seen discarding the bottle and walking away.
The 51-year-old apologized for the incident shortly after in a lengthy Instagram post.
“First and foremost, I want to offer my deepest apology for my lapse in judgment and behavior on December 9 at a restaurant in West Hollywood,” McGinest wrote on Instagram later that month. “To my family, community, friends, and youth I mentor, please know I feel horrible for my actions and take full responsibility.
“To my colleagues at the NFL Network and those that I work closely with as an advisor to professional and community-based organizations, please know I am embarrassed and regret what occurred.
“Most of all, I am disappointed in myself, as I know this is an isolated incident and is not reflective of my faith, role as a father, life’s body of work, or the role model I’ve worked hard to become. It is personally devastating that decades of community service, youth engagement, mentoring, and professional development would become an afterthought in a single moment that should never have happened.
“This incident has prompted me to deep self-reflection — mind, soul, and spirit. I know that violence is never the answer to such situations, no matter how intense the provocation. Rest assured, I will take whatever steps necessary to restore the public trust, mend damaged relationships, and ensure this never happens again.”
Apologies are all well and good, and Willie sounds sincere, but hitting a man over the head with a bottle is serious assault. McGinest is fortunate that he didn’t kill his alleged victim. Perhaps moving forward, he needs to surround himself with better friends? Often athletes get in trouble with the encouragement of neighborhood or high school friends that are hanging around trying to profit off of the friendship.
In McGinest’s case, he is a 51-year-old man that should know better than to do what he is alleged to do. Not in a bar, not in a restaurant, not in an alley. Adults, especially those who pretend to be professionals and role models, have a higher standard to live up to. McGinest may well be looking at hard time, but perhaps that will give him time to reflect and be a better man coming out the other side.
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