The reports, from TMZ to Bleacher Report to Pro Football Talk, linked Antonio Allen, formerly of the New York Jets and South Carolina Gamecocks football team, to the Monday arrest of rapper “Boosie” on guns and weapons charges in the Atlanta area.
Only the Antonio Allen, 30, arrested with Boosie was not the same Antonio Allen.
The Antonio Allen who played at South Carolina from 2008-2011 is now suing TMZ for defamation, according to a letter from the Strom Law Firm, which includes former South Carolina state Rep. Bakari Sellers. TMZ’s story includes a correction. Stories from Bleacher Report and Pro Football Talk have been taken down.
“I have worked extremely hard as an athlete, husband, father, son and role model to have an upstanding reputation,” Allen said in a statement issued through the law firm. “It’s a sad but apparently true commentary on the current state of times that, without checking for truth, news organizations can ruin my reputation and life. I’m not sure how I will recover from being branded as a criminal.”
The Newnan Herald had also misidentified him, but has issued a correction.
Allen was an All-SEC player for the Gamecocks in 2011, after starting his career at safety and then moving to linebacker. he made 88 tackles and picked off three passes as a senior.
He was taken in the seventh round by the New York Jets, and started 18 games in a career that lasted from 2012-2018.
A report on Boosie’s arrest can be found here.