The tale of former high school football player Brian Banks as he continues to piece his life together seems ripped right from the script of a TV crime show. At the age of 16, Banks’ life changed for the worst when he was charged with rape of a fellow student, eventually taking a no contest plea deal. All along, Banks maintained that the act was consensual and that he did not force himself on anyone.
After serving 5 years while facing a possible 41, Banks returned to society with the stigma of being a registered sex offender and being required to wear a GPS-loaded ankle monitor. After a lunch with his accuser, Wanetta Gibson, Banks would finally get the justice he long sought, along with help from the California Innocence Project. Gibson eventually recanted her story.
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Today, Banks is still fighting to realize his pro football dreams after trying out for several teams during the off-season. Armed with a positive attitude and an indomitable will to win, Banks is one of eight nominees for CBS Sports’ Courage In Sports Award taking place right now on Facebook.
Banks, now 26, has not landed with a team as of yet but is keeping his options open and his spirits high.
“My story is the story of the power of the human spirit. My story is the story of overcoming the greatest of challenges life throws at you. My story is the story of being the best person you can, regardless of the situation life may put you in,” reads a statement from Banks as part of the “Courage” promotion.
To vote for Banks or one of the other nominees, follow this link to the “Courage In Sports” Facebook page and don’t forget to hit the “Like” button to access the content. Voting ends this coming Monday, September 10 at noon (Central Time).