By LINDA DEUTSCH – Huffington Post
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Now that Brian Banks has been exonerated of a rape conviction that put him in prison for five years, the one-time prep football star has a message for NFL coaches: Give him a chance.
After Thursday’s emotional court hearing during which Banks broke down in tears, the 26-year-old said he wants to pursue his interrupted dream of playing professional football.
Appearing Friday on NBC’s “Today” show, Banks said he just wants a chance from an NFL team.
“I think that any team that gives me an opportunity will be really impressed with what I can do despite all of what I’ve been through these past 10 years,” Banks said.
It was the plan he left outside a prison door when he pleaded no contest to a childhood friend’s false accusation of rape in 2002, a claim she has now recanted.
The hearing that changed Banks’ life took only minutes. Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Brentford Ferreira said his office conceded the case should be dismissed. Superior Court Judge Mark C. Kim concurred and quickly announced it was over.
One of his first moves was to report to the probation office to have the electronic monitoring ankle bracelet removed – a felon no longer.
Banks said he is ready to move forward and is trying not to be angry.
“I couldn’t ask for more today,” he told reporters after Thursday’s hearing. “But there is always the question of why did it have to happen in the first place? Why wasn’t I heard with the truth of what happened when I was 16?” (Full Story)