Jontay Porter Admits to Federal Conspiracy Charge

Former NBA player faces legal woes over gambling

by Zain ul Abedin
Jontay Porter Admits to Federal Conspiracy Charge
© Rick Osentoski/Getty Images

In a development highlighting the ongoing gambling worries heaped upon pro sports, Jontay Porter - at one time a rising star in the NBA- formally accepted a federal conspiracy charge. This admission comes on the heels of allegations that linked him to non-permitted betting activities, most notably getting out of-profit results in ballgames by hook or crook.

The Associated Press says that Porter admitted being part of a group trying to wire money illegally. This admission is part of a broad study into how gambling debts can affect players' actions and go against the honor of sports.

Porter tried to perform worse when he played so that his prop bets of 'under' the point total would prosper. This skewed not only the game statistics but also the people of his team, the people who followed him, and most importantly, the whole community league itself.

Porter's Legal Reckoning

"I know what I did was wrong, unlawful, and I am deeply sorry," Porter declared penitently. His betting problem grew from a struggle to pay off substantial debts - a situation all too common among professional athletes who are hit by gambling.

Porter faces an enormous difficulty. While his bail was set at $250,000, ticking off Dec. 18, he is scheduled for a sentencing hearing. Potential penalties weigh heavily in this case, from no prison time to a maximum of 20 years behind bars.

In addition, Porter may be required to pay hefty amounts of money in fines and restitution. This case illustrates a significant vulnerability in professional sports: the impact of gambling. While the NBA has made efforts to fight these problems, all non-football gambling scandals are relevant for other leagues as well sports betting undoubtedly existed in pro football and cannot be dismissed.

The NFL has punished several players in the past. However, it serves as a bitter reminder that threats uploaded from such and other quarters can arise at any time, calling forth constant vigilance and firm regulation if the game's fairness is to be preserved.