Former NFL wide receiver David Boston was sentenced to six months in prison today for punching a woman last year, but the sentence could have been much more severe, as prosecutors were seeking to put Boston behind bars for four years.
So why did the judge give Boston a more lenient sentence? In part, because Boston blamed concussions suffered in football for his actions off the field, and the judge found Boston’s claims convincing.
According to the Sun Sentinel, a psychiatrist testified at Friday’s sentencing hearing that Boston had at least four concussions from playing football, and Circuit Judge Charles Burton said he agreed to impose less jail time than prosecutors were seeking because of evidence that Boston suffers from a brain disorder. Boston said in court that he is suing the NFL over head trauma he suffered on the field.
With thousands of former players now suing the NFL for brain damage they say they suffered during their playing days, this surely won’t be the last time we hear of a player blaming brain damage after being convicted of a crime. The 34-year-old Boston, a once-promising Pro Bowler who has had several off-field problems, pleaded guilty last month to felony aggravated battery in connection with last year’s incident.