The subject of gang ties in sports is a touchy one. Certainly, there’s an intersection between elements of black culture and hip hop that are innocuous and the hallmarks of gang membership that cause many to jump to conclusions.
And short of any firm admissions from the players in question that they are, in fact, involved with a particular gang, most everyone on this list has alleged gang ties.
What are “alleged gang ties?” This means different things for different athletes. Javaris Crittenton and someone like Paul Pierce, for example, have very different bodies of evidence to support the “gang membership” claim.
With that said, here are nine athletes with alleged gang ties:
It’s certainly worth distinguishing between players who grew up in gang environments but have no reported current involvement, such as Carmelo Anthony, and those who continue to maintain ties.
Nevertheless, mixing gang ties with sport is a dangerous combination and one which is likely to never end well.