By Dick Wilson
Should professional athletes be concern for their personal safety and that of their families? A couple years after the tragic death of Washington Redskin’s player, Sean Taylor. This Cleveland Plain Dealer did interviews with several athletes who discuss their concerns, vulnerabilities and their protective strategies.
Unfortunately the interviews, while well meaning, starts out with a comment by LeBron James who seems to believe that driving fast will allow him to escape anyone intent on harming him. The truth is that it’s more likely to harm Lebron than any would be attackers.
If driving fast were the solution, Princess Di might very well be alive today and Governor Corzine of New Jersey might not have had a near-death experience as a result of an accident involving his motorcade. Driving fast might dissuade a well intentioned fan or the curious on-looker but it’s hardly likely to prevent an attack by a determined attacker.
A determined attacker will have already made sufficient allowances for Lebron’s vehicle and trying to chase him down in a vehicle isn’t going to be the likely strategy. The fact of the matter is you can only drive fast for so long before the risk of an accident equates to, or exceeds the threat you are trying to avoid.
Besides, driving fast and evasive driving are too entirely different animals and one does not equate to the other. When you review the type of attack Lebron is most likely to face, driving fast is hardly the scenario.
Most attacks, whether carjacking, terrorist attack or kidnappings, are likely to occur when the vehicle is stationary, either as a result of traffic conditions or by design in the attack plan.
When the target vehicle is moving, the speed of the target vehicle will be mitigated by the attackers to such a point that the ability to accelerate out of the situation has already been factored into the attack thereby making such a reaction near useless or largely ineffective.
The aggressor has all of the advantages to include time of attack, method of attack, place of attack and the element of surprise. The bottom line: Any personal defense strategy that relies on fast driving is going to come up short.
LeBron would be better served employing a comprehensive personal security strategy that entails route analysis, surveillance detection, evasive driving, situational awareness, a threat assessment and some good old fashioned common sense rather than counting on driving fast to get off the “X.”
Moving beyond LeBron’s perspective on how to counter threats, the article depicts various strategies that other professional athletes are taking to mitigate the threats they face. Most of the other strategies are sound personal security strategies that if properly employed, will reduce some but not all of the risks these athletes face.
As previous articles on this subject have indicated, the wealth, or perceived wealth of professional athletes makes them attractive targets. By lowering their profile, particularly when it comes to public displays of wealth, status or privilege, will go a long way towards reducing the conditions that make them the most vulnerability.