Yahoo – Wendell Brown, 30, is a former football star in Detroit, a standout at powerhouse King High School and then a three-year starting linebacker at Ball State in Indiana where he graduated in 2009. He later played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, a number of arena teams and even a professional league in Austria. He also coached the game, at King High and then a season as an assistant at Adrian College, a D-III program in Michigan. In 2015, he found his way to Chongqing, China, a city of some 18 million in the southwest part of the country, to play and then, after an injury, coach in the American Football League of China. It seemed like an incredible opportunity. While there he taught English to adults and football to kids. He spoke at the U.S. Embassy about the game. To supplement his income, he opened a cross training business, Brown Elite Fitness. As a 6-foot, 225-pound African-American in the middle of China, he stood out. Brown is in incredible physical condition and was a cast member once on the Discovery Network reality television show, “American Muscle.” Pictures of him putting middle-aged locals through workouts and barking motivational sayings at them – “Elite!”, “All Day!”, “Eight Days a Week”— entertained his family back home. “We used to joke with him, ‘You look like Billy Blanks,’ ” Antoinette said with a laugh. Life was great until Sept. 24, 2016, when Brown attended a birthday party for a friend at a bar. As Wendell’s side tells it, he struggled to blend in when out on the town because many Chinese assumed he was either rich or famous. That night some men wanted to drink with him, but Brown declined. They got angry and a dispute broke out. Brown was later arrested for hitting a man. Brown claimed he never hit anyone and only raised his arms to block bottles being thrown at him. Regardless, Brown was taken to the Chongqing Jiangbei detention center. He had never before been arrested. Faced with no American-style bail available, no discovery process about the evidence against him and a confusing array of laws that bear little resemblance to the United States, he’s spent the past 14 months in a Chinese jail.
This is insanity. The guy got in a bar fight and has been in jail for 14 fucking months. That is absolutely criminal. This is why I don’t want to travel anywhere. I’m cool with Boston, LA, maybe sprinkle in some of the midwest. Its either ISIS bullshit or school shootings or corrupt ass foreign governments locking you up and throwing away the key. You can’t win, which is why I cringe every time somebody posts that misguided fucking Jeff Daniels speech from the Newsroom about how America isn’t the best country in the world anymore.
Um, yea it still is. You do something bad in America, you get treated fairly (for the most part) and punished accordingly with the crime. But you find yourself in a bad situation in another country like Wendell Brown did and boom you’re in jail for over a year.
Unless you’re a pseudo celebrity like LiAngelo Ball you’re basically fucked. According to this Dan Wetzel article the conviction rate of Chinese prosecutors is 99.2%. That is not okay. This is why I prefer to go somewhere I can blend in and being a 5’8″ white guy with a red beard, there’s not many places I can do that besides maybe Ireland or England.
You just know this guy was a target being a 6 foot tall black dude walking around the streets of China. Every dickhead always wants to start shit with the outsider. Doesn’t matter if its Faneuil Hall or fucking Hong Kong.
“According to Brown’s friends who attended the trial, the evidence against him fell apart. The Chinese don’t release details or evidence and there is no independent media in China, however, his friends said the video surveillance showed he didn’t hit anyone, let alone with a bottle like it was alleged. It was revealed the man who claimed he was hit and had his eye injured by Brown, actually had suffered the injury in a previous incident, according to Brown’s friends. They claim Brown took the stand in his own defense and was compelling and convincing, noting that considering his size and strength, had he wanted to fight there would have been significant injuries. That was July. There is still no verdict. It’s been four months without a ruling and no one knows when, if ever, one will come.”
Now he faces 3-10 years in jail for something as small as a bar fight. As Brown said in his own defense, if he *really* wanted to fight he would have done some damage. He probably could have just caved in the faces of half a dozen Chinese dudes before any could have stopped him.
We joke about the hollow nature of internet condolences, but seriously prayers to this guy. Hey Donald, you think you can swing back into China like when Costanza forgot his hat and get Xi to spring this dude too? Lets stop letting our own people get locked up abroad for nothing.