If you're a black pro athlete who owns a sweet ride and lives in a ritzy neighborhood in this country, chances are good you've been busted for DWB.
Driving While Black.
"It happens to me all the time, especially in Tampa," says Atlanta Braves outfielder Gary Sheffield, who grew up in Tampa. "I go home to see old friends, and I get stopped. Or if I'm driving slow, looking at my old neighborhood, I get stopped. It never happens in my truck, just in my nice cars."
Denver Broncos defensive tackle Trevor Pryce says an officer followed him home once, pulled him over and said, "I don't think this is your car." And Pryce replied, "Why, because I'm black and driving a Corvette?" Pryce has been pulled over for DWB so many times he has a new strategy. "I pull up right next to cops," he says, "roll down my windows and play my music as loud as I can. Nobody would do that driving a stolen car, right?"
"It's happened to me eight or nine times," says Miami Heat guard Jim Jackson. "I asked one cop in Dallas why he pulled me over, and he goes, 'Oh, we're just doing random checks.' Right. Random checks of black men in nice cars."
When comedian Chris Rock was pulled over on a DWB, he jokes, "It scared me so bad, I thought I had stolen my car!"
Three times this summer, Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams says, Fort Lauderdale police have stopped or hassled him for nothing more than the color of his skin.
"One cop pulled me over for no other reason than I was a black man driving an expensive car [a Hummer]," says Williams, the former Heisman Trophy winner who moved to south Florida after being traded to the Dolphins in March. "They said later it was because my tags were expired. But it was a handwritten temporary license they couldn't possibly have been able to see. For that they call the drug dogs and I get handcuffed?" The stop and search lasted an hour and a half, Williams says, and then he was ticketed for expired tags and for not having his driver's license and proof of insurance in his possession.
Twice cops have knocked on his front door to tell him his garage was open, Williams says, and then asked him for proof that he owned his cars. They questioned him about what he did for a living and how much he paid for the cars. It's the kind of frustration that white athletes never have to deal with.
Williams has started taking the long way to work so he doesn't have to drive past a police station. Other guys just give up and drive crappy cars. Sometimes these guys don't even have to be in a car.