Have you ever told a little fib because you thought it would not hurt anyone?Did it?Or have you ever told a lie knowing someone else would be hurt?We all lie.We have since Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden.We hope, though, that when we do lie, it will not hurt anyone, but words are powerful, far more powerful than what we often think.“The tongue has the power of life and death.” (Proverbs 18:21a)The right words can move people to action, or calm a stirring crowd.The right words can also destroy someone’s life.

From outward appearances, Brian Banks’ life looked good.He was 16 years old, star linebacker at Long Beach Poly High School in California, and had the interest of some of the best college football programs in the country, including the University of Southern California (USC) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).His dream?Becoming a NFL player.That dream was shattered one summer day in 2012.Brian, attending summer school, ran into classmate Wanetta Gibson.The two went off to be alone, “fooled around,” but did not have sex.Wanetta then accuses Brian of rape.

 

Brian’s attorney encouraged him to plead no contest, telling him that despite the lack of evidence against him, he would never win if the case went to trial.“She told me I was a big black teenager, and no jury would believe anything I said.”Brian followed his attorney’s advice.Brian served five years, two months in jail and another five years on probation.Brian was also required to register as a sex offender and wear an ankle bracelet.Brian’s once promising future was now bleak, as he struggled to find someone willing to hire him.

 

Thankfully, Brian’s story does not end there.Last year, Wanetta contacted Brian through Facebook.After receiving the friend request, Brian says “I stopped what I was doing and got down on my knees and prayed to God to help me play my cards right.”The Lord certainly heard his prayer and guided him.Brain and Wanetta arranged to meet and Wanetta confessed to making up the rape charge.Wanetta refused to talk to prosecutors though, claiming she did not want to lose the $1.5 million awarded to her when she sued the school for failing to provide a safe environment.However, Brian secretly recorded the entire conversation, which was presented to a judge.On Thursday May 24, 2012, Brian Banks finally had his name cleared!

And that dream of Brian’s?Well, he has not given up on that.He has started working out and challenged any NFL team to give him a chance to show what he can do.Who knows?With all the attention he has been getting, he may very well get that chance.

 

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