Athletes involved in motorcycle accidents
The NFL's standard player contract prohibits any activity involving "significant risk of personal injury" -- outside of playing football. But many prominent athletes continue to ride motorcycles anyway, despite the personal risk and the possibility of losing salary. Recent accidents involving NFL players and other athletes:
• 2006: Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was badly injured in a motorcycle crash Monday morning and undergoing surgery. He was in serious but stable condition.
• 2006: Houston return specialist Jerome Mathis, a Pro Bowl player, injured his hands and got scrapes and bruises, causing him to miss some offseason work.
• 2005: Cleveland tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. sustained internal injuries and damage to his right shoulder and right knee, forcing him to miss the season. With his leg still healing from a previous knee injury, he was learning how to ride his new sport bike in a parking lot when he hit a curb and was thrown over the handlebars.
• 2003: Indy Racing League driver Dario Franchitti broke his back in a motorcycle accident and missed several races, including the Indianapolis 500.
• 2003: Chicago Bulls guard Jason Williams crashed his new motorcycle into a light pole, fracturing his pelvis, tearing knee ligaments and damaging nerves in his left leg. The former No. 2 NBA draft pick hasn't played in the NBA since but was still working on a comeback.
• 2001: Olympic skier Hermann Maier broke both legs in a wreck, nearly lost one and was told he would never walk again, let alone ski. He won two gold medals at the 1998 Nagano Olympics and added a silver and a bronze this year at the Torino Games.
• 2000: Tennessee safety Marcus Robertson needed 150 stitches in his face after a crash in December and missed the regular-season finale.
• 1999: Miami defensive end Kenny Mixon missed a game with abrasions and bruises he sustained in a crash after his motorcycle hit a wet spot.
• 1999: New York Giants running back Gary Brown was hospitalized in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident over the summer and was sidelined for a couple weeks during training camp.
• 1998: Green Bay defensive lineman Jermaine Smith smashed his elbow in a June accident, prompting coach Mike Holmgren to prohibit kick returner Glyn Milburn from riding the Harley-Davidson he won as MVP of the American Bowl exhibition in Tokyo.
• 1997: Major-league pitcher Steve Howe, who was attempting a comeback at age 39 with the Sioux Falls Canaries of the independent Northern League, was critically injured in a crash and later charged with drunken driving. Those charges were later dropped after prosecutors decided his blood test was improperly obtained.
• 1997: Italian speedskater Orazio Fagone, who won a gold medal in the 5,000-meter short track relay at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics, had his right leg amputated after a motorcycle accident, ending his hopes for a return to the Nagano Games.
• 1994: Former NHL tough guy Bob Probert, who played for the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, sustained minor injuries in a motorcycle accident. Tests showed alcohol and cocaine in his system, and he was placed on inactive status for the 1994-95 season.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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